The headline basically says it all. Re-blogged from Sydney’s Daily Telegraph (emphasis ours):
POLICE have charged 17 people with drug offences after an operation at Australia’s version of the Burning Man festival.
The large-scale long weekend police operation at the Burning Seed festival in the Matong Forest, near Wagga Wagga concludes tomorrow with police seizing a large number of drugs.
Sergeant Maggie Deall said there had been 40 drug detections and a total of 70 drug exhibits seized with additional police from Sydney helping in the operation.
“Some of those drug detections involve multiple drug possession matters,” she said.
“We have actually come across 36 different types of drugs; ranging from the party drugs that are fairly standard at these events.
“Ecstasy, MDMA, cocaine, all the way through to magic mushrooms, cannabis, and prescribed restricted substances like buprenorphine…People are so laissez-faire about their drug use given that they’re so far from medical help, I think it’s a fairly risky behaviour to undertake,” Sergeant Deall said.
“You may have taken 100 different pills, 100 different times and nothing has happened.
“You never know what’s in them. The next one could be the pill that kills you.”
The festival is now in its seventh year…
Those charged are believed to be from Sydney, Melbourne, the Northern Territory and even Germany and all listed to appear in court over the next couple of weeks.
[Source: Daily Telegraph]
Emmy Mack at MusicFeeds has more details:
Police have wrapped up their first ever drug operation at Burning Seed festival — Australia’s version of Burning Man — charging 17 punters with drug offences.
Cops with sniffer dogs set up a roadblock at the entrance to the ‘deep space’ themed music festival, which is currently underway at ‘Red Earth City’ in the Matong Forest, west of Wagga Wagga, seizing “a large variety of drugs” including cannabis, mushrooms, cocaine and ketamine.
“Police are very concerned with the amount of drugs that people are trying to take into the festival and the danger to their health and safety,” Acting Inspector Maggie Deall from Wagga Wagga police station tells the ABC.
While a dude named Rodney, who volunteers as second-in-command on the festival’s front gate, argues that the majority of the event’s attendees were ex-hippies who aren’t even that into drugs.
“I’m 35 and I’m one of the younger ones there really,” he says. “It’s not a drug-fuelled music festival. You can lose yourself without having to get inebriated.”
Punters angry about the police presence at this year’s festival have flooded the Burning Seed Facebook page, calling for the event to be shunted interstate where drug detection isn’t as tough.
A man from Canberra — where the government has just given the green light to pill-testing measures — writes: “I advocate for not holding it in NSW or even VIC going forward given how both those State Governments are treating festivals of late like this, come to the ACT where we don’t go hard on those responsibly having a good time.”
Like Burning Man, Burning Seed culminates with the burning of a wooden temple and a 13-metre effigy.
The five-day festival is now in its seventh year, and is due to wrap up on Monday.
It comes after the tragic death of a man at this year’s flagship Burning Man event in Nevada, after he ran into the flaming effigy.
A “punter” in Aussie parlance means a participant. It also means gambler, so perhaps they are suggesting that these 17 chose to try their chances against the sniffer dogs and came out on the losing side.
Here is a link to the discussion at Burning Seed’s Facebook page
Some photos from the Daily Advertiser:
ACT, Australian Capital Territory, is not technically a State of Australia, it is a special district – like District of Columbia in Washington D.C., or Distrito Federal in Mexico City, or the City of London. Interesting that they are making a play now for the rave scene. It’s home to the nation’s capital city Canberra, where the politicians rule the country from. Canberra is a notorious hotbed of porn and prostitutes, another city laid out from a Masonic masterplan.