19-year-old dies at Sydney’s A State of Trance
19-year-old Tolga Toksoz fell ill at West Sydney’s Olympic Park on Saturday, during Armin Van Buuren’s A State of Trance. Though he was seen by medical staff on the festival’s premises, Toksoz died shortly after arriving at a local hospital. Meanwhile, another 20-year-old was in critical but stable condition at Westmead Hospital, with four additional men also transported to the hospital.
Nearly 16,000 people were in attendance; three arrests were made for drug possession and about 40 charges were issued for more minor offenses.
This is the third time in a year and a half that fingers have been pointed toward drugs for deaths at Sydney dance music events, following the passing of 19-year-old Georgina Bartter at Harbourlife and 23-year-old James Munro at Defqon 1 in November 2014 and September 2013, respectively.
Sydney’s struggle with how to approach drugs persists. However, drug harm reduction team Unharm is backing a “ditch the dogs” petition. Police, they argue, should retire the use of drug-sniffing jobs because they increase the risk of overdose by scaring attendees into taking all of their drugs before passing through security. Will Tregoning from Unharm suggests drug testing as a more viable option.