A mixture of drug abuse, sexual assaults and thefts have marred the Rainbow Serpent Festival, with investigations threatening to derail any possible future that the festival may have.
The risks to public safety stemming from the event have been thrust into the spotlight, after an extremely worrying total of 40 drivers leaving the West Victorian festival tested positive for drugs. If that wasn’t bad enough, reports of four sexual assaults, three thefts, the assault of two security staff and the arrest of a drunk driver have left the festival in shambles, and a cloud of uncertainty hanging over its future.
As reported in The Herald Sun, Inspector Bruce Thomas voiced the police’s concerns regarding the behaviour that has become all too common at the internationally renowned festival.
“It’s painfully obvious that there are huge direct and indirect risks to the community as a result of the behaviour that takes place at the festival.
“It was a miracle that no-one was killed on our roads given the number of drug drivers departing from the festival.
“If police didn’t intervene, these drug drivers could have easily killed someone’s child, brother, sister or parent.
“The sheer number of people who had consumed or attempted to sell drugs was frightening.
“Something has to change.”
This is not the first time that the festival has been embroiled in scandal, with the overdose death of a 34 year old festival goer in 2012 sparking public outcry and the need to address the antisocial and selfish behaviour that has plagued Australian festivals.
As much as we do not condone disgusting behaviour, it is clearly evident that there are not sufficient measures in place to combat the behaviour that is becoming a serious issue for the festival scene. Here at Howl & Echoes we have recounted multiple stories of wrongful strip searching, and have campaigned for the implementation of drug testing at festivals Australia wide. Sadly only time will tell if these suggestions will come to fruition.