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Following 2018 drug deaths Defqon.1 festival now ‘postponed indefinitely’

Following 2018 drug deaths Defqon.1 festival now ‘postponed indefinitely’
May 30, 2019

Almost nine months after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian vowed to "do everything we can to shut this down", the controversial Defqon.1 hardcore dance festival has been "postponed indefinitely".

According to a statement shared on the festival's Facebook page, organisers were unable to secure an alternative location for the event after the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith, where Defqon has been held for the past 10 years, opted out of holding the event – which had been scheduled to take place in September.

The Facebook announcement advised “warriors, it is with great sadness to inform you that Defqon.1 Festival will not return to Australia this year.

"Unfortunately the Sydney International Regatta Centre and its affiliates have withdrawn their support for the event. Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to secure a suitable replacement venue for the event to take place this September."

The statement added organisers of the event, billed as the world's largest ‘harder styles’ festival, would continue to look for an alternative location but implied rescheduling would be unlikely, saying they "remain uncertain if and when" the festival would return.

The statement closed “to our fans, ambassadors, and everyone else that has contributed to the incredible memories we created for the past 10 years: from the depths of our orange heart we would like to thank all of you for your ongoing support, dedication, and for creating the most epic family imaginable.”

The festival was one of 14 classified as "high risk" under the NSW Government's new licensing scheme which came into place in March.

With two fans having died at the event in September 2018 from apparent drug-related causes, Premier Berejiklian vowed to “shut down” the festival, stating at the time “I'm absolutely aghast at what's occurred, I don't want any family to go through the tragedy that some families are waking up to this morning, it's just horrible to think about.

"This is an unsafe event and I'll be doing everything I can to make sure it never happens again.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the NSW Office of Sport, which operates the venue, said it was focused on "hosting sporting events at the Sydney International Regatta Centre this year".

A spokesperson for Liquor and Gaming NSW said the NSW Government was committed to working with musical festival operators and other industry stakeholders to ensure "the right balance is struck between great entertainment and festival safety".

The spokesperson advised “the music festival licence is designed to support operators in ensuring their events are safe and these risks are managed properly.

"Under the licence scheme, organisers have access to expert advice from agencies including NSW Health and NSW Police."

Images: Defqon.1 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

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28th February 2019 - Cancelled Mountain Sounds festival owes Eventbrite almost $900,000

19th September 2018 - NSW Premier announces panel to look into drug issues at music festivals

16th September 2018 - NSW Premier vows to ban Sydney music festival after drug deaths

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