Groovin The Moo in Canberra will see pill testing trials again this year

In the wake of the massive success that was seen at last year’s event, Canberra’s leg of the annual Groovin the Moo tour will again play host to a pill testing trial.

Last year’s trial saw almost a hundred substances being scrutinised and a handful of lives saved.

groovin the moo brooke tunbridge pill testing
Photo: Brooke Tunbridge

Amidst the controversy happening here in NSW, the ACT government has approved plans to trial pill testing at this year’s Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra.

In a statement made to the ABC, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said of the trial:

“We are keen for this approach to continue on the basis of the success of the first trial and the failure of policy over many decades now to address harm minimisation adequately,”

“We believe that by making this service available there’s potential to save lives.”

“In light of the experience in other jurisdictions over the summer with some quite-serious medical issues arising, there will be some additional harm minimisation measures put in place.”

Last year’s Groovin the Moo in Canberra saw a total of 85 substances tested, some of which contained two highly toxic chemicals, including the “absolutely lethal” N-Ethylpentylone (ephylone). Those who bought the capsules with the lethal substances were “extremely grateful”  that the ingredients had been detected, resulting in the disposal of the drugs.

The Safety Testing Advisory Service At Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) Consortium deemed Groovin the Moo’s 2018 pill testing trial an “overwhelming success”. 

The trial comes after the death of five people from suspected substances in as many months. It also comes in the wake of the NSW government enforcing its new festival policy, which has seen over 100,000 people sign a counter-petition, being described by the newly formed Don’t Kill Live Music lobby as an attack on the city’s vibrant arts and culture. Over 30,000 are expected to attend the Don’t Kill Live Music Rally happening in Sydney on Thursday.