A total of 85 punters at this year’s Field Day festival were arrested over drug-related offences, marking just one arrest shy of half the amount made at the festival’s last edition.
Roughly 12,000 punters attended the Sydney-based festival on New Year’s Day, all but filling The Domain for performances by Allday, Ashwarya, Golden Features, Mallrat, May-A, Peking Duk and more.
As usual, NSW Police were out in full force, leading an operation targeting “anti-social behaviour, alcohol-related crime and illegal drug use”. With the aide of sniffer dogs, officers seized MDMA, ketamine, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, cocaine and cannabis.
It marks a major improvement from Field Day 2020 – when the festival last took place, skipping last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – where a total of 169 attendees were arrested on drug charges. Just two arrests were made for supply at this year’s event, with the remaining 83 pinned for possession.
One of the two alleged suppliers, Tyronne Maumaharatanga Ferreira, made headlines after he reportedly “struggled with police” during a search. The Daily Telegraph reports that Ferreira assaulted a senior constable during the process, causing minor injuries.
Alleged to have smuggled in 50 caps of MDMA, the 22-year-old tradesperson was charged with supplying a prohibited drug, assaulting police and resisting arrest. He appeared via video link in Parramatta Bail Court yesterday (January 2), where he was granted bail on the condition he moved in with his mother and reported to police twice weekly.
It’s worth noting that, due to the festival’s COVID-safe measures, Field Day 2022 sported a greatly reduced capacity, down from roughly 27,000 in 2020. Granted, that year’s festival also featured a lineup boasting international guests like Tyler, The Creator, Disclosure, Playboi Carti and The Japanese House.
This year’s edition of the festival marked its 20th anniversary, having first gone down in 2002. Its return served as NSW’s first major music festival since the pandemic started.