'Another family grieving': 19-year-old dead after attending dance party

An investigation is underway into the death of a 19-year-old man who has died from a suspected drug overdose while attending a popular dance party.

Death at a dance party

Police say a 19-year-old man died from suspected drug overdose while attending the Knockout Games of Destiny Dancy Party at Sydney Olympic Park. Source: AAP

A man has died, two people are out of induced comas and another remains in a critical condition in hospital from suspected drug overdoses at a popular dance party in Sydney.

Police say a 19-year-old man died in Concord Hospital on Sunday morning after attending the Knockout Games of Destiny Dance Party held at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush on Saturday.

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An additional 13 people were taken to hospital and a further 130 people required medical treatment during the event, according to NSW Police.

It follows the drug-related deaths of two young adults at the Defqon music festival in the western Sydney suburb of Penrith in September, and has again sparked a discussion on pill testing.

Attended by 18,000 people, a total of 62 people were found in possession of drugs at the dance party.

Five people were arrested and charged with drug offences, including an 18-year-old girl who was allegedly caught with 390 MDMA capsules.

She's been charged with supply prohibited drug and is due to appear at Burwood Local Court on January 10.

A 25-year-old man was arrested after officers allegedly found him in possession of 145 MDMA capsules.

Refused bail, he's due to face Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday charged with drug and possess prohibited drug. 

South West Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell said festival-goers are still choosing to ignore the dangers of using illegal drugs.

“There is no acceptable use for drugs – the message is clear. We will continue to have a strong presence at festivals and dance parties with the wellbeing and safety of attendees our number one priority," said Assistant Commissioner Thurtell.

'Another family grieving'

Police told reporters that the 19-year-old who died was found in a distressed state at the nearby railway station.

He was treated by medical staff at the scene before being taken to Concord Hospital, where he died in the early hours of Sunday morning.

From the Baulkham Hills area, his family have asked that his name not be released at this stage because other relatives are yet to be informed of his death.

"Look, it is terrible. We have another family grieving. In addition to that family grieving, we have another three  families whose young ones are in hospital, two of which have only just come out of induced coma. Another one is still in an induced coma," said Assistant Commissioner Thurtell.

"The reaches of this scourge go much further than those that take it (drugs). These families are grieving, and panicking, as well at the same time now, and there was 13 other young people taken to hospital in total last night. So, it's obvious they are just not safe," he said.

Not pill testing in NSW

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian vowed to ban Sydney music festival Defqon.1 after a series of suspected drug overdoses left a man, 23, and woman, 21, dead.

However, she said, the government will not be changing its opposition to calls for pill testing.

"Anyone who is advocating pill testing is giving the green light to drugs that is absolutely unacceptable," Ms Berejilian said at the time.

Defcon.1 music festival.
Two people died in suspected drug overdoses after the Defcon.1 music festival. Source: SBS / , Facebook @Defqon.1


Instead, the government introduced tougher drug penalties in October - including on-the-spot fines for drug possession and a maximum 20-year jail sentence for drug suppliers.

Pill testing was trialled for the first time this year at Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra. More than 120 people took part. 85 samples were tested, two of which were found to be deadly.

The territory’s health Minister labelled it a success and the organisers said they were confident they’ll get a second trial.


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4 min read
Published 9 December 2018 at 11:42am
By Sarah Wiedersehn