Call For Inquest Into Stereosonic Death

 A motion was passed in the South Australian parliament for the state’s Attorney General to conduct a coronial investigation into the death of a 19-year-old at the Dec. 5 Adelaide stop of the EDM festival Stereosonic. 

A week earlier, 25-year-old pharmacist Sylvia Choi died at the festival’s Sydney show. Stereosonic, run by Totem OneLove, is part of the U.S.-based SFX Entertainment. The motion was moved by Xenophon Team, led by independent senator Nick Xenophon. He had been calling for an investigation since the death of Stefan Woodward, reportedly from a bad batch of ecstasy.

Two attendees at the Adelaide show at Bonython Park were hospitalised, while 22 needed treatment for drug and alcohol reasons. Xenophone emphasises the importance for an inquest to assess the roles of the organisers, security and police “to find out what happened, why it happened, and to ensure it doesn’t happen to another family.”

The government continues to resist calls. Attorney General John Rau maintains he must wait the release of a police report on Woodward’s death, due later this year. After the motion was carried, minister Gail Gago told Parliament, “This is a tragic case that highlights the terrible effect that dangerous party drugs have upon innocent families in our community. However, in this case the Attorney-General has been advised by the State Coroner that he has not yet received a copy of the post-mortem report or the SAPOL (South Australian police) investigation report. This motion is unnecessary at this point of time and inappropriate.”

Totem OneLove stated a zero-tolerance drug policy on its website before the tour, and had requested police on site. The government has considered whether to introduce mandatory warnings over public address systems at all music festivals about the dangers of illicit drugs, especially on hot days. On the day of the Adelaide show, the mercury climbed to 40C (104F).