Castlereagh is a suburb 67 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD.

What Defqon.1 festival is really like

THE organisers of Defqon.1 music festival claim all you need to have a good time at their event is “a positive outlook and a love for the harder styles in dance music”.

The electronic music festival where two young people died on the weekend, has evangelical fans who love to dress up and dance.

Defqon.1 was founded in the Netherlands in 2003 by Q-Dance, a Dutch company that stages “hardstyle” music events and festivals.

“Hardstyle” is a dance music genre that combines hardcore techno, house and trance music. There’s often a pounding, deep baseline and few lyrics.

Defqon.1 music festival at Sydney International Regatta Centre, where two people died.

Defqon.1 music festival at Sydney International Regatta Centre, where two people died.Source:Supplied

The colours and imagery seen at Defqon.1 are bright, loud and intense.

Both stages — the red stage and the blue stage — feature massive industrial sets designed to tower over the mosh pit below.

They usually incorporate the face of an animal, such as an owl or a bat, and pulsate with flashing lights and smoke throughout each dance set.

While the deaths at the festival at the weekend has sparked calls for the festival to be banned from ever being held again, Defqon.1 has retained its cult following. Many attendees have gushed on social media about their experience on Saturday.

One woman described the festival as “honestly the best night of my life”, while a first-time attendee said “broke my DEFQON 1 virginity and it changed my life. Simple girl … living the dream”.

A poster advertising performers Nervous & Matrix at Defqon.1 on Saturday.

A poster advertising performers Nervous & Matrix at Defqon.1 on Saturday.Source:Supplied

Festival goers at Defqon.1 on the weekend. Picture: Instagram

Festival goers at Defqon.1 on the weekend. Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram

But two young festival-goers died from apparent drug overdoses and a further 13 were hospitalised for treatment of drug-related issues at the Sydney event on the weekend.

Police say 355 drug searches were conducted with 69 people found to be in possession of drugs, including the 10 charged with supply offences. A range of illicit drugs were seized including MDMA, cocaine and ecstasy.

These aren’t the first deaths at this music festival. In 2015, a 26-year-old man was found unconscious in a tent and later died, while in 2013 a 23-year-old festival-goer also died.

The tragedies have reignited the fierce debate between government and health experts about pill testing. Doctors argue festival-goers will take drugs anyway, but our politicians say they don’t want to be seen as endorsing illegal substances.

Joseph Pham (left) died at the Defqon.1 Sydney Music Festival on Saturday

Joseph Pham (left) died at the Defqon.1 Sydney Music Festival on SaturdaySource:Facebook

 

Crop tops and bike shorts are to Defqon.1 what crochet bikini tops and flower crowns are to Coachella.

 

 

Picture: Instagram

Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram

 

Picture: Instagram

Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram

Many wore matching designer crop tops with bike shorts or leggings, while others wore bikini tops or bras with a bum bag or backpack to keep their possessions close.

 

 

 

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Hands down best festival I’ve been to so far! Good day out with the boys #melogang #defqon1 #hardstyle #sent

A post shared by Kristian Beggs (@kris_beggs) on

 

 

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Wow what a day to remember, first defqon done with the lover and the best bunch of people you could ask for 🤘🏻❤️ #defqon1 #bestdayever

A post shared by DYLAN PILGRIM🌏 (@dylan_pilgrim) on

WHY ARE DRUGS SUCH A MASSIVE PROBLEM THERE?

The festival actually claims to have a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to drugs.

“Our highest priority is to create a memorable and above all safe Defqon.1 experience for everyone who comes to party with us,” the festival says on its website.

“We want to make you aware that the use of illicit substances carries a range of health risks including the possibility of death, and is strictly forbidden at this event. There will be a strong police, drug dog and security presence upon entry into the event to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. If you are caught carrying illicit substances, you will risk a jail sentence.”

Several online forums warn attendees about the festival’s reputation for a strong police presence.

“Just be careful if you’re planning on using party favours, because the police dog operation is always hectic at Defqon. You will walk a gauntlet of police dogs and officers,” one man wrote.

Defqon.1 Australia organisers this morning released a statement to news.com.au in response to the deaths on the weekend.

“The organisers of Defqon.1 Australia are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of two of their patrons at Nepean Hospital after attending the festival last night and would like to convey their sincerest condolences to their families and friends,” the statement read.

“Thoughts and prayers are also with the young man and woman who are still in a critical condition.

“We are disappointed at the number of reported drug related incidents, we have a zero-tolerance policy in relation to drug use at the festival.”

WHERE IS IT HELD?

Defqon.1 was held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, built in the lead-up to the 2000 Olympics as the official rowing venue.

Located in Castlereagh, a suburb near Penrith in Sydney’s western suburbs, the closest train station is Emu Plains.

The festival’s 70 ticket price included travel on public trains and also a free shuttle bus returning from Penrith railway station.

The festival officially ended at 11pm on Saturday evening.

 

Castlereagh is a suburb 67 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD.

Castlereagh is a suburb 67 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD.Source:Supplied

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