Festival organisers can't stop the drugs

By Andi Yu and Brianna Parkins

Sylvia Choi's death at Stereosonic's Sydney event has frustrated festival organisers, who say they're powerless to prevent the drug taking that's ruining the reputation of music festivals.

Ms Choi, 25, collapsed and died in hospital after reportedly taking ecstasy at the Stereosonic festival at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday.

Stereosonic's promoters, Totem Onelove, say they can't stop drugs coming into their festivals.

"For months we've been talking about plans on how to best manage entry and dog operations and where the best place to position dogs is," said operations manager Dave Rubin.

"But the reality is that as much resources we throw at it, we just can't stop it."

Secret Garden Festival organiser Adam Lewis said many people were determined to take drugs at music events.

"It is difficult for a lot of events to completely stamp out that kind of behaviour," he said.

Vibes On A Summer's Day organiser Joe Conneely said a percentage of revellers will always take drugs.

But promoters say there's more to music festivals than drugs.

"The next day (after a festival), the thing you see is how many people were caught with drugs," Vice Australia's Alice Kimberley said.

Ben Suthers from music company Inertia said bad news coverage "sucks the oxygen out of the promotional environment".

"I think what the media has to stop is this equation: You go to a festival, you're going to take drugs," said Mr Conneely.

Mr Conneely said pill testing to analyse the safety of drugs should be trialled at Australian festivals.

But Stereosonic's Mr Rubin said drug testing kits would be legally problematic.

Stereosonic responded to Sylvia's Choi's death by beefing up security at its Perth and Brisbane events.

Meanwhile, the security provider at Stereosonic, Red Dawn Security, is investigating reports that one of its guards was hospitalised after taking drugs at the Sydney event.