08 December 2023

People attending music festivals during severe heatwave conditions over coming days have been urged to take precautions to stay safe.

Dr Darren Roberts, Medical Director of the NSW Poisons Information Centre said most of NSW is forecast to experience dangerous conditions and festival-goers can take simple steps to keep themselves as cool and safe as possible.

“Several music festivals of different styles are taking place this weekend in New South Wales, and very hot weather is predicted. Without the right precautions, people will be putting their health at risk," Dr Roberts said.

“Overheating during activities in dangerous heat is a huge risk, and people need to take a break from dancing, seek shade, drink water and cool down to reduce the risk of overheating at festivals.

“Festivals will have special measures in place this weekend including chilled water and misting fans to help keep people cool. Everyone attending festivals this weekend should make use of these measures."

Dr Roberts said hot environments can increase the risk of harm from some drugs.

“If you or a friend have taken drugs, please watch out for each other and know the warning signs that you need help," he said.

“If you or a friend feel unwell, you won't get into trouble for seeking medical care. Please seek help immediately at the onsite medical centre.

“There are experienced onsite medical providers and teams of well-trained peer educators from programs such as DanceWize NSW who are ready to support you at many major festivals. Other event staff are also trained to help."

NSW Health and NSW Ambulance, provide risk management advice for festival organisers and NSW Health has issued Guidelines for Music Festival Event Organisers and pre-hospital clinical guidelines for onsite medical care providers.

At locations other than festivals, call emergency services on Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. For more information about staying safe, including the warning signs to seek help, see Stay OK at Music Festivals​.

For support and information with alcohol, MDMA and other drugs, please contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 250 015. This is a 24/7 service offering confidential and anonymous telephone counselling and information. NUAA also provides a range of harm minimisation resources and advice and can be reached on 1800 644 413.​

More information on how to stay safe in the heat can be found at Beat the heat.​