Two dead after Defqon music festival overdoses at Penrith

Two people have died and a further two remain in hospital critically ill after attending the Defqon.1 music festival at Penrith overnight.

Strike Force Highworth has been formed to investigate the deaths of a 23-year-old Edensor Park man and a 21-year-old woman from Melbourne  who died after collapsing at the festival about 9pm yesterday (Saturday, September 15).

Emergency services attending the Sydney International Regatta Centre responded to multiple reports of suspected drug overdoses.

The 23-year-old man and 21-year-old woman died in Nepean Hospital a short time later, while a third person – a 26-year-old woman from Jamisontown – remains there in a critical condition.

A 19-year-old man was airlifted to Westmead Hospital in a critical condition. The man, from Artarmon, remains in hospital in intensive care.

Police have been told an additional 13 people attended Nepean Hospital for treatment for drug-related issues, while as many as 700 people sought assistance from medical staff on-site.

A total of 10 people have been charged with drug supply offences. Three are due in Parramatta Bail Court today (Sunday, September 16) including: 

  • A 22-year-old man, from Bankstown, has been charged with supply prohibited drug (greater than commercial quantity). Police will allege he was found with 20 packets of GHB.
  • A 33-year-old man, from Mt Pritchard, has been charged with supply a prohibited drug (commercial quantity) after allegedly been found with MDMA.
  • A 27-year-old man, from Sydney, has been charged with supply a prohibited drug (commercial quantity).

Two teenage girls, both aged 17, have also been charged with supplying a prohibited drug after they allegedly carried 120 capsules internally into the venue.

A further two men and three women were also charged with supply drug offences.

A range of illicit drugs were seized including MDMA, cocaine and ecstasy.

A total of 355 drug searches were conducted with 69 people found to be in possession of drugs, including the 10 charged with supply offences.

A multi-faceted operation was undertaken at the festival with resources including the Nepean PAC, Police Transport Command, North West Metropolitan Region Enforcement Squad, NWM OSG, and the Police Dog Unit.

Strike Force Highworth has been formed to investigate the deaths of the two young people. It comprises detectives from Nepean Police Area Command.

An investigation is now underway into the circumstances surrounding the man and woman’s deaths with officers from Nepean Police Area Command appealing for anyone with information about their deaths to come forward.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.