Dinner debate: Pill testing at music events

Dinner debate

Pill testing at music events
An evidence-based harm minimisation intervention which should be adopted in Australia

Date: Friday 11 October 2019
Time: 6.30 pm for pre-dinner drinks and canapes
7.00 pm three course dinner, including beverage package
Venue: Pacific Hotel, 345 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill, Brisbane
Parking: in hotel carpark or on street

Click here to register


Young Australians are amongst the highest users in the world of so-called ‘party’ or ‘recreational’ drugs. The New South Wales Deputy State Coroner is currently inquiring into the deaths of six young persons at music festivals. Recent drug-related hospitalisations and deaths have prompted calls for on-site pill-testing.

In April 2018, the first pilot study of ‘front of house’ pill testing (also known as “safety testing”) was conducted in Australia during the Groovin’ The Moo music festival at Canberra which attracted over 24,000 attendees. For many who participated in the pill testing, it was their first opportunity to discuss with health professionals the risks of taking ‘pills.’  There were no deaths at the 2018 Groovin’ The Moo music festival.

During the Groovin’ The Moo music festival at Bendigo in April 2019, pill testing identified seven pills containing the potentially lethal n-ethylpentylone. Although there were over 20,000 attendees, there were no deaths at the 2019 Groovin’ The Moo music festival.


Mark Daglish
Director of Addiction Psychiatry, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital
Addiction Psychiatrist, Roma Street Clinic, Brisbane

Russ Scott
Forensic Psychiatrist, Prison Mental Health Service
Honorary Secretary ANZAPPL (Queensland Branch)

Jeff Buckley
Alcohol and other Drugs Expert and Educator

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