The past one year has been a rough ride for most Australian festivals — be it the much-talked-about EDM shindig Defqon.1 or the now-infamous Stereosonic. We bring you the low-down on the issues plaguing the music outings Down Under


1. Too much drug abuse

That most Australian festivals are struggling to enforce a no-drugs policy is no secret. Going by the number of mishaps, and strange incidents that have come out light in the ongoing festival season, it is high time that organisers and local police take it upon themselves to crack down on the rampant substance abuse on the venue.

Some of the drug-related news that have appeared of late from Down Under are just saddening:

– On December 8, a man who was high on drugs, killed a woman by running his car over a tent in which she was sleeping

– Over 100 people were arrested for possession of drugs, at Stereosonic, Brisbane

– There were 83 drug-related arrested at Defqon.1 on September 20

– A man suspected of having had too much drugs, was seen attempting to click a picture with his credit card, at Stereonic festival

– In another incident from Stereosonic, a woman was filmed dancing topless in the crowd even as lecherous mean cheered her on



 2. Activists supporting a wrong cause, and demanding a ban on sniffer dogs instead

After the death of a man last year due to “panic overdose” (ingesting too many pills upon spotting sniffer dogs), harm reduction campaigners have been calling for a ban on sniffer dogs. But are the canines the real menace, or the easy availability of drugs on the venue and its unchecked consumption among the youth?



3. The growth of ‘muscle culture’ among young men

The incidents of random violence reported in the recently concluded Stereosonic festival point to the cruel truth that music festival have now become arenas for people to exercise their physical power over others upon the slightest misunderstanding/accident/provocation or even in the absence of any of these things — contrary of the widespread belief that such liberal events foster a sense of love, community and belonging among like-minded people.

In the aftermath of Stereosonic violence which involved many shirtless beefy men , Good Life has enforced a strict dress code.


4. The continual mainstreaming of music festivals

Many seasoned festival-goers believe that it is the smainstreaming of the music festival culture which has caused things to turn sour at large gatherings, since they are now are populated not with real music lovers but with selfie-clicking, tattooed “hooligans” that have no real intention of enjoying the festival.


Jenni Ryall, Australia editor, Mashable, in a recent article, says:

“As the music moved into electro beats and a dubstep obsession and festivals began hitting every second weekend, the mainstream movement somehow killed the vibe. Suddenly, juiced-up hooligans wearing nothing but neck tattoos and dominating attitudes were a main act. The new-age thug is more often than not shirtless at a festival and can be found groaning loudly at the gym.”




(Cover Image Courtesy: wunderground)

The images used in the feature are for representational purpose only; they are not owned by Festival Sherpa.


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