For months now, the topic of pill testing has been a contentious one, met by equal amounts of backlash and support at every turn. Now, the numbers are in, with the majority of Australians supporting the push.
Yesterday, management and ticketing site Eventbrite released their Australian Music Fans Report, outlining the priorities that guide the majority of Australian concertgoers.
Surveying 1,130 gig-goers, the findings are quite intriguing, explaining how Baby Boomers attend more music events than any other group, and how Generation Z seems to seek value for money when it comes to shows.
In addition to noting facts such as how 55% of respondents use social media to research an artist or event, and 24% use music videos to check an artist’s sound, it appears that the vast majority tend to agree on the topic of security at gigs, including the notion of pill testing.
According to the survey, 77% of those questioned supported pill testing at live music events, while 63% ranked security as being either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their event experience.
Likewise, 39% reported they had noticed an increased police presence at gigs, 52% reported searches of their bags, and 10% noted how they had encounters with drug dogs.
“In a year where Australia’s live music scene has attracted both high praise and intense criticism, this survey sees us pass the mic to the fans – and the results should be music to the industry’s ears,” explained Eventbrite Asia Pacific General Manager, Phil Silverstone.
“Music fans are attending more shows, they’re sharing more content, and they’re engaging more deeply with artists, venues and festivals across a range of online and offline channels than they ever have before.
“It’s an exciting time for Australia’s live music industry – and we’re thrilled to play a role in powering its success.”
Check out Skegss performing ‘Up In The Clouds’:
However, despite the vast majority of Australians supporting the notion, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian again rejected calls for pill testing to be implemented recently, despite overwhelming evidence to its effectiveness.
“We helped reduce drug-related harm by giving young people access to a medical service they would not have had otherwise,” explained Gino Vambuca from Pill Testing Australia following a successful trial at Groovin The Moo in Canberra.
“The pilot was again overwhelmingly successful by any measure but particularly by doing everything possible to keep our kids safe.”
“They haven’t shown there’s any evidence yet,” Berejiklian later explained. “My position on pill testing remains firm. I don’t think it works, I don’t think the evidence is there and I don’t support it.”
While the Premier had given the go-ahead for a government-commissioned inquiry into ice to widen its focus and look at other drug-related issues like pill testing, it appears she already has her mind made up.
“Of course I’ll read it if they put it up but I’m not convinced they’ll find evidence because there’s no such evidence anywhere,” the Premier stated.