Arcadia is committed to delivering an exceptional but above all safe festival experience.

There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to ensure the well being and safety of all participants. What shouldn’t be behind the scenes is the policies and safety measures in place when it comes to drug and alcohol use.

Straight up, Arcadia does not condone the use of drugs.

As far as alcohol goes, we think it can be enjoyed as an addition to a festival experience, but it’s never the focus. Bring some beers to enjoy with friends in the camp site. Bring a couple of sundowners to enjoy while watching your favourite artists. But try not to over do it. If you do chances are, you’ll end up ruining your own good time and potentially the good time of those around you too.

We have designed a program of new and exciting music to be enjoyed safely and in a relaxed manner. This involves curating a festival program that allows time for people to enjoy the entertainment, rest and participate in restorative and relaxing activities over the course of the long weekend. Go home happy healthy and relaxed, ideally with some recollection of an awesome festival.

Inside Arcadia, as with the rest of Australia, drugs are illegal and if you are caught with drugs you could face legal consequences.

That being said we are conscious that a ‘drugs are illegal, don’t do drugs’ policy has often failed in society and we are aware of the need for harm reduction, welfare and education strategies in conjunction with a robust emergency response plan.

Before arriving at Arcadia we urge all participants to consider the tragic and terrifying outcomes that have played out across Australia recently as a result of drugs use at festivals. Be aware that Arcadia is in held in an isolated location with patchy reception and a significant distance between us and emergency response. With this in mind consider your own plans for drug use at festivals. Is it worth it? If it is, what steps can you take to make sure you can stay safe.

Give the following a look over and be mindful of these important self-harm reduction strategies;


  • There are drugs in circulation in Australia that can kill with one single pill.

  • Mixing drugs with other drugs / alcohol / prescription drugs can be very dangerous and mixing is behind many drugs deaths.

  • Cheap does not mean weak.

  • Pure does not mean safe.

  • You don’t know the strength of what you might be taking.

  • You don’t know how your body will react.

  • You can’t tell what you are taking by looking at it.

  • You can’t tell how you will react by the reaction others have had.

  • Remember that tolerance levels can vary. You may not have the same tolerance level as your friends.  

  • You can always up your dose but you can’t reduce it. Wait at least 2 hours before taking any more. Start low and go slow.

  • If your powder or pills don’t take effect as quickly as you would expect, don’t assume they are poor quality – they may contain another substance that takes longer to take effect. If you then take more as a result you are at increased risk of overdose when the combined doses do kick in. Start low and go slow.

  • Treat all drugs as unknown.

  • Take regular breaks if you are dancing or exercising or in a hot environment and rehydrate with water or soft drinks – take small sips regularly but don’t have more than one pint an hour.

  • Having an isotonic drink can help if you have been drinking a lot of water.

  • Use in a safe environment, with people you trust and not alone. Be open with your friends about what you are taking and look out for each other. Ask for help if you need it.

  • You can drop into the Health tent or talk to anyone in an Arcadia t-shirt in confidence at any time if you you need any sort of help.


  • Pace yourself.

  • Try to avoid getting too intoxicated in unfamiliar situations (i.e. at a rural festival). You can lose control, make risky decisions and become less aware of danger.

  • Alcohol and other drugs can impair your judgment; don’t feel pressured into doing anything you aren’t comfortable with.

  • If you are having a bad time or struggling, even if you don’t feel you need medical attention, drop into the health tent for a chat, a water and maybe a rest.

  • If someone becomes unconscious or unresponsive, put them in the recovery position (on their side) and seek immediate medical attention by alerting the nearest person in an Arcadia shirt.

  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks.  Being blind drunk and vomiting isn’t fun.

  • If you are drinking from early in the day, try to stick to drinks with a lower alcohol content (for example low-strength beers rather than spirits).

  • Alcohol is the most common substance used to spike drinks. Never leave drinks unattended and don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know.

If you do over do it, you are not on your own, Arcadia isn’t going to turn a blind eye to drug use or over consumption. If you are in trouble, we are here to help. The health tent is a judgment free zone come in for a chat, a glass of water or a rest at any time. An amnesty bin is provided at the ticketing entrance and the health tent if you need it. Similarly if you need help around the festival because of intoxication grab an Arcadia team member (they will be wearing Arcadia branded shirts). The team is here to help, again, without prejudice, we’ve all been there and we all need a little help sometimes.

If the worst should happen an emergency response plan is in place to ensure an efficient response to any and all medical emergencies. We liaise with emergency services leading up to and during the event to make sure the appropriate level of services are on hand and available to the event. As a patron it is your responsibility to let a member of staff know the moment things are going south for a friend or fellow festival attendee. Neither your friends nor your are in trouble, but, in the case of an emergency, every second counts and we need to take action as quickly as possible!

Above all, take it easy, relax and enjoy this unique event. Look after your mates and if something does go wrong help is available you need only ask. We look forward to seeing you at Arcadia soon and seeing you back home safely after the event!