‘Pill testing doesn’t work’: Father of man, 23, who died of a suspected drug overdose at a Defqon. 1 music festival calls for dance festivals to be BANNED
- Cong Pham, father of Joseph Pham, wants to see all dance festivals banned
- Joseph Pham, 23, died of suspected drug overdose at Penrith in September 2018
- Mr Pham said level of ‘peer pressure to take drugs’ at dance festivals is enormous
The father of a young man who died from a suspected drug overdose last year has called for dance festivals to be banned in Australia.
Cong Pham’s son Joseph Pham, 23, collapsed and died at Penrith’s Defqon. 1 event on September 15.
‘Crowd control doesn’t work, pill testing doesn’t work — none of these measures tackle the root of the problem,’ Cong Pham told the Daily Telegraph.
Joseph Pham (pictured) who collapsed and died at Penrith’s Defqon. 1 event in September last year – his father has called for all dance festivals to be banned in Australia
‘I don’t want to read about another death at a festival in a newspaper.
‘The only way to prevent deaths at festivals is to ban the hard-core dance ones.
‘The noise and type of music means young people feel they need to take drugs to enjoy it.’
Mr Pham’s comments came after Alexandra King-Ross, 19, died last Saturday after attending the FOMO festival in Parramatta.
It is believed she consumed at least two MDMA pills moments before entering the festival in Sydney’s west.
The family, based on New South Wales’ Central Coast, rejected pill testing as there was no ‘safe level’ with illicit drugs.
Alex Ross-King (pictured left) died from a suspected drug overdose last Saturday at the FOMO dance festival in Parramatta
Revellers at the Defqon.1 dance festival in Penrith where Joseph Pham died last year – his father has called for future dance festivals to be banned
‘We encourage the government to courageously take all the active measures possible to reduce the risk,’ a family statement read.
‘Pill testing is only one measure. There is no safe level of drug consumption but, it is an opportunity for intervention.
‘We will in due course request an audience with Premier Berejiklian to confer and exchange views.’
Calls for pill testing at music festivals had grown following the deaths of Pham, Ross-King, Callum Brosnan, Joshua Tam and Diana Nguyen at separate dance events since September 2018.