From Aussie musicians to companies that handle party hire in Sydney, many are eagerly awaiting the Ultra Music Festival Australia in February. Aware of how popular it is, the event’s controlling body has decided to take on a cause.
Recently, the Ultra Music Festival Australia approached NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian about the idea of holding a pill testing trial during their event. According to the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA), they’ve been approached by Ultra Australia, expressing their support for their DanceWize NSW, their drug safety initiative, and a testing of their pill at the Festival at Parramatta Park on Valentine’s Day. Both organisations then approached the NSW Premier to consider approving a trial.
The statement from both organisations stated that they stand ready to support this needed harm reduction intervention, in the form of a pill, at the earliest possible time.
NUAA CEO, Mary Ellen Harrod, says that DanceWize NSW has already interacted with thousands of young Aussie partygoers in such a short time frame, and they noticed that the views of the youth are clear: they want real-world, practical measures that are tangible proof that the people in power prioritize the safety of Aussies, and not politics.
Harrod added that the DanceWize NSW team has been in operation since November 2017, and they’ve helped and educated thousands of Aussie youth in music festivals, and other events that party hire in Sydney have interacted with across the state. Pill testing, she says, is an additional measure that can be taken for the sake of the health of young people, but will only really work with peer support and proper education. Regardless of what happens next, they implore the government to act now in order to reduce harm in the community.
Harrod states that education is the key to keeping people safe. Pill testing is just one method that’ll support education, allowing the youth to pause and consider their options. Aussie trials have already proven that pill testing works, there is near-universal agreement that shows that people need to do more in order to keep the youth safe, and the Ultra festival is a great opportunity to launch a trial of that measure in NSW.