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Music fans urged to celebrate safely at Secret Garden Festival in south-west Sydney

Friday, 24 February 2017 03:59:31 AM

Music fans are urged to celebrate safely as the Secret Garden Festival begins in Sydney’s south-west this afternoon.

Gates open at the two-day festival at 12pm today (Friday 24 February 2017), at Downes Family Farm in Brownlow Hill, with acts commencing shortly after.

The event continues from 9am on Saturday (25 February 2017), with multiple artists performing throughout the day and into the evening, before officially concluding on Sunday morning (26 February 2017).

With thousands of music fans expected to attend the event, police are reminding ticketholders to plan their journey to and from the event ahead of time, and celebrate safely.

A high-visibility police operation will be in place involving officers from across South West Metropolitan Region, with assistance from the Dog Unit – including drug-detection dogs – Licensing Police, and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command to ensure a safe and secure event for everyone involved.

Operation Commander, Superintendent Ward Hanson, said police will be focused on dangerous or anti-social behaviour, alcohol-related crime and illegal drug use and supply, throughout the event.

“We want everyone to look out for your mates and enjoy the festival safely; however, we will show no tolerance for behaviour that risks the safety of other ticket-holders, staff or the wider community,” Supt Hanson said.

“Both overt and covert officers as well as drug-detection dogs will be on patrol throughout the event so don’t ruin your festival experience with irresponsible behaviour.

“Should you try to bring illegal drugs into the festival, you can expect to be intercepted by police and you will be dealt with swiftly,” Supt Hanson said.

“Possession of prohibited drugs is not only a serious criminal offence, but they can also be incredibly harmful to your health and potentially-life threatening, particularly when combined with alcohol.”

Police are reminding ticketholders not to bring alcohol into the grounds and to make sure they have their photo ID available for inspection.

“This is a fully licensed event, so no BYO will be allowed. There will be bars to buy drinks inside the venue so we will confiscate all alcohol outside the gates, and remember glass is not permitted,” Supt Hanson said.

“I urge everyone to drink in moderation and know your limits. Alcohol affects your judgement and can lead to poor decision making so take care of yourself so you can enjoy the festivities.”

Event medical staff will be in attendance at the event, and police encourage anyone under the influence of drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol, or who feels unwell, to seek professional medical attention immediately.

Festival-goers are also reminded to plan their trip, including their journey home on Sunday, ahead of time.

“Music fans are encouraged to utilise the express bus service that’s available to shuttle you to and from the festival, departing Central Railway Station,” Supt Hanson said.

“The shuttle is a great, easy-to-access service for festival-goers so we urge you to take advantage of that transport option – especially if you’re planning to drink.

“Remember the Traffic and Highway Patrol will be performing random breath tests – both during and following the festival – and anyone caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be arrested,” Supt Hanson said.

“If you’re travelling on the road for an extended period of time make sure you also take regular rest breaks to avoid fatigue and always wear your seat belt.

“And with heavy rain predicted make sure you slow down, and drive to the conditions to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.”

Parking spots are limited on site so ensure you book online ahead of time to avoid disappointment, and visit www.livetraffic.com for up-to-date details on road closures and the latest traffic information.

“Camping is included in your ticket and is seen as an integral part of the overall festival experience, so with thousands flocking to the grounds we’re reminding people to be mindful for their safety and the safety of others,” Supt Hanson said.

“Keep an eye on your property, don’t leave valuables unattended and in an emergency contact security, local police or call Triple Zero (000).”


Additional tips for campers:

• Plan your trip in advance;

• Get to know your surrounding campers;

• Leave valuables at home – if you must bring valuables, ensure they are secured and kept out of sight;

• Lock your caravan or campervan when it’s left unattended;

• Plan ahead for changes to weather conditions;

• Ensure valuables are not left in unattended vehicles; and,

• Report any suspicious behaviour to police.

Further information on the festival, including ticket details, the express bus service and conditions of entry, can be found on the official event website: http://www.secretgardenfestival.com.au/.