More than 200 people used the pill testing service at the Groovin the Moo (GTM) music festival yesterday, compared to approximately 125 who used the service last year.
The service, run by Pill Testing Australia, was only the second time pill testing has been offered at a music festival in Australia, following the first successful trial held at last year’s GTM in Canberra.
“What these figures show is that there is a demand for this service at events such as music festivals which is indicative of people wanting to make informed choices,” said Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris.
“We understand from Pill Testing Australia that around 171 samples were tested. MDMA was the prominent substance identified and to a lesser extent cocaine, ketamine and methamphetamines.
“Of particular concern was the detection of n-ethylpentylone, and this information has been shared with ACT Policing and the Chief Health Officer. It was good to see that people chose to discard pills containing this dangerous substance.
“The ACT Government would like to acknowledge the efforts of festival organisers Cattleyard Promotions for allowing this second pill testing trial to take place.
“We would also like to acknowledge the work and expertise of Pill Testing Australia for carrying out the trial.”
The Australian National University will conduct an independent evaluation of the trial. This will further contribute to the evidence base for pill testing both locally and nationally, and help inform future policy decisions of government including other opportunities for pill testing in the future.