BALLARAT hosted its biggest music festival on Saturday, with upwards of 20,000 people flocking to Victoria Park to enjoy live music and the festival atmosphere.
Ballarat police Inspector Dan Davison told The Courier that while the majority of people were well-behaved and attended to have a good time, a lot of concerning behaviour was also exhibited, including the appetite for recreational drug use.
Six people were charged with possessing a drug of dependence at the festival while 21 others were given a caution for possession and directed towards diversion programs.
In addition, two people were arrested for public drunkenness and five people were evicted for behavioural offences.
A man, believed to be in his 20s, was taken to the Ballarat Base Hospital in a critical condition on Saturday afternoon following a suspected drug overdose.
On Sunday the hospital informed The Courier that he had been discharged but could not provide further details.
It came just before a 24-year-old man died of a suspected drug overdose at the Strawberry Fields music festival in New South Wales overnight.
Inspector Davison said police were kept busy throughout the day enforcing the operator's liquor licensing requirements to reduce the risk of alcohol fuelled harm, though several fights did break out inside the festival.
The Courier witnessed several fence jumpers later in the day, who were quickly escorted out by security, while other intoxicated and aggressive attendees were led out.
Another was arrested and taken away in a divisional van.
The mounted police unit patrolled the outskirts of the festival after dark as people moved on to buses to head home and others to after parties, while the highway patrol is still out on the roads testing for drink and drug driving.
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