Between hours of queuing, back-breakingly heavy bags and angsty security checks, getting into festivals can be a slog.
But for revellers attending one Australian festival this year, they’ll be getting far more than a bag check.
Festival-goers at Splendour In The Grass will be asked to take a sexually transmitted infection (STI) test to gain entry to the VIP section of the festival.
The Byron Bay festival will be providing Chlamydia testing for young people as part of the award-winning Down to Test program.
In exchange for access to the exclusive VIP section, revellers will have to provide a urine sample.
The incentive launched last year and has already had positive results in detecting STIs and raising awareness.
Of the 2500 young people tested in 2017, 71 tested positive for Chlamydia.
“STI rates in Australia are rising, with the number of chlamydia cases almost doubling over the past decade, and those most affected are aged 15 to 29,” NSW Health’s STI Program Unit head Dr Chris Bourne said.
“Music festivals present an opportunity to reach our target audience, raise awareness of STIs and reduce the stigma around testing. And results show this program is working.”
The Chlamydia test is takes less than five minutes and results are sent via text or phone call days later.
“We hope record numbers will visit our VIP tent and in return we offer a ‘chill out’ area, free phone charging, clean toilets, a make-up bar and peace of mind,” Dr Bourne added.
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