A number of charges were laid at the inaugural Spilt Milk festival in Ballarat at the weekend.
As upwards of 20,000 people flocked to Victoria Park from across Australia to enjoy the live music and the festival atmosphere with their friends and the festival has been hailed a success, a small number of incidents did occur.
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 Ballarat Base Hospital in a critical condition following a suspected drug overdose on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday the hospital confirmed he had been discharged but could not give further information.
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.
Police and security were heavily and visibly present at the main entrance to the festival, with the dog squad travelling up from Melbourne to assist the policing effort, while medics travelled around on bicycles.
Despite the very clear police presence at the entrance, The Courier still observed brazen drug dealing taking place in the early afternoon, with police consistently escorting people to a tent set up nearby after sniffer dogs reacted as they walked by.
Inspector Davison said while police were concerned and disappointed about people's attitudes in thinking they needed to take drugs to a festival to have a good time and others drank to excess, police were pleased with behaviour once the festival concluded and the crowds dispersed home and into the central business district.
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.
Related coverage: Ballarat Spilt Milk 2019: all the colour and glitter
Related coverage: Spilt Milk Ballarat 2019: full coverage and photos
Related coverage: Fly above Spilt Milk, plus see who's at the festival
Related coverage: Spilt Milk Ballarat 2019: Inside the gate
While some festival-goers told The Courier the police and security presence was one of the biggest they had come across at similar events, many added it made them safer.
Inspector Davison said the police presence was in line with the size of the event and the potential mix of alcohol, drugs and the social order issues their consumption can create.
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.
Police moved their physical presence into the central business district and night clubs after the festival concluded at 11pm, which Inspector Davison said assisted in deterring the possibility of poor behaviour.
The Highway Patrol conducted a range of roadside alcohol and preliminary drug testing on Ballarat roads throughout the weekend, though no charges were laid as a result.
Meanwhile, a man in his 20s was hospitalised after an incident in Ballarat North in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Paramedics were called to the Golf House Hotel about 12.20am to a report a man in his 20s had been assaulted.
He sustained facial injuries and was transported to the Ballarat Base Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
City of Ballarat councillor Daniel Moloney said while bad behaviour was not ideal, considering Ballarat's population grew by about 20 per cent in a night it was expected that there would be an increase in issues across the city including attendances at hospital and policing issues.
However, he said the festival had provided a huge boost to the local economy with people visiting local cafes, restaurants and booking accommodation.
"So to experience only a handful of issues, it's really not a bad outcome," he said.
He said from his own observations and the feedback he had received, the organisers had run the event exceptionally well and had covered all bases from the medical tent, police, security presence and video surveillance and overall he was very impressed.
"Sometimes these young people's events get a bad rap but we need more of them.
"This event brought the perfect demographic of younger people to Ballarat, mostly from out of town. It's rare to get such a young market to a country location so we hope they keep coming back not just for music festivals but later on in life too."
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.