What Groovin the Moo musicians think about the pill testing trial

A second pill testing trial will take place this year at the Canberra leg of the Groovin the Moo festival, a year after it hosted the first Australian trial in April 2018.

The trial, to be run by the STA-SAFE consortium, will use the same technology but will be a larger operation with an additional testing machine and more staff.

Groovin the Moo in 2017. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Groovin the Moo in 2017. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

At last year's festival, 125 people visited the pill-testing service, 45 per cent of them 20 years old or younger.

The decision to carry out the second trial comes after the death of 19-year-old Alex Ross-King, the fifth person to die at a music festival between September 2018 and January 2019.

Suffa - Hilltop Hoods

The Hilltop Hoods (l-r): Daniel Smith, Matthew Lambert (Suffa) and Barry Francis. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

The Hilltop Hoods (l-r): Daniel Smith, Matthew Lambert (Suffa) and Barry Francis. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

"It's just something that should be happening. For a short time before we were able to turn music into a career, I had a background in studying social work.

"I definitely come from a harm-minimisation background. I wholeheartedly believe we need to deal with issues like this by taking a different approach, other than shutting down festivals.

Beatrice Lewis - Haiku Hands

Beatrice, Mie, and Claire of Haiku Hands. Photo: Flore Diamant

Beatrice, Mie, and Claire of Haiku Hands. Photo: Flore Diamant

"It might as well be as safe as possible. I feel like the whole world is moving into - or perhaps the kind of world I inhabit - a space where science is using different drugs for trauma counselling and I feel like that overall there's a big shift happening, which to me could be really helpful for some people.

Tommy O’Dell - DMA's

DMA's (l-r): Johnny Took, Tommy O'Dell and Matt Mason. Photo: Mushroom

DMA's (l-r): Johnny Took, Tommy O'Dell and Matt Mason. Photo: Mushroom

"They trialled pill testing at the Canberra event last year, so it's definitely worth trialling it again. If it's going to help the safety situation, then by all means, it's a good idea.

"It's a sensitive issue at the moment with festivals, and is constantly in the media, but just whatever keeps people as safe as possible is what we want as musicians. If pill testing can help that then I don't see why it shouldn't be there."