Hard­core fes­ti­val with a murky his­tory

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News -

FOUNDED in Holland in 2003, De­fqon.1 is no stranger to con­tro­versy.

Run by Dutch fes­ti­val or­gan­iser QDance, it is an an­nual event — fea­tur­ing hard­core techno, house and trance mu­sic, and dubbed by or­gan­is­ers as “the world’s largest harder styles fes­ti­val” — that has at­tracted mas­sive crowds around the world, from the Nether­lands to Chile and Aus­tralia.

And since the fes­ti­val came to Aus­tralia in 2009, peo­ple — many of them ei­ther out­ra­geously clad or in fancy dress — have trav­elled from far and wide to the event at Pen­rith’s In­ter­na­tional Re­gatta Cen­tre.

Fea­tur­ing some of the big­gest-name DJs in the hard dance mu­sic world, in­clud­ing Holland’s Head­hunterz, it is an 18+ event and says it main­tains a ze­ro­tol­er­ance drug pol­icy. The fes­ti­val’s web­site clearly warns that “if drugs are found, you will be handed over to the po­lice”.

But de­spite this it has made un­wanted head­lines for drug-re­lated in­ci­dents and deaths. In 2013, 23-year-old James Mun­roe died from a sus­pected over­dose, suf­fer­ing a se­ries of car­diac ar­rests af­ter dis­clos­ing to paramedics that he had con­sumed three “pills”. And in 2015 Nigel Paulje­vic, 26, was found un­con­scious in a tent and later died in Ne­pean Hos­pi­tal.

The fes­ti­val is known for out­landish dress.

Two rev­ellers.

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