The West

Picture: The West Australian/Becky Felstead

More than 12,000 music lovers streamed into Busselton yesterday, keen to keep the new year party going at the 10th annual Southbound festival.

A sunny but not too hot day meant that happy fans, including thousands of campers, arrived early to catch the Preatures, Violent Soho and local folk pop outfit Simone and Girlfunkle.

The party kicked up a gear in the late afternoon with energetic sets from festival regular The Cat Empire on the main stage and former Smiths guitar legend Johnny Marr in the big top.

Southbound continues today at Sir Stewart Bovell Park with the Wombats, MGMT, Neil Finn and Violent Femmes.

However, there have already been many drug seizures, much to the disappointment of police and promoters. Police said there had been about 40 drug detections and 25 summons issued for drug offences by 4.30pm yesterday.

Promoter David Chitty, from Sunset Events, said he saw "half a dozen" arrests when he was at the gates yesterday morning.

"It certainly does worry us because there is a bad batch of drugs around at the moment," he said.

Mental Health Minister Helen Morton yesterday urged West Australians to avoid illegal drugs in the wake of a spate of reported hospitalisations over the Christmas-New Year break.

"Several young people have required treatment after using these substances and we are concerned for the wellbeing of young West Australians leading up to forthcoming events. The best advice is not to take drugs and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time," Ms Morton said.

The West Australian

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