A Gold Coast app has had an influx of downloads over the last couple of weeks, after partnering with schoolies.
‘SearchParty’ is now being calling the ‘must-have’ app for music festivals – because it ‘helps mates help mates’.
Users create in-app Parties with their friends, which lets them see their location in real time.
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They can also direct message each other and even get help in one click.
The app was developed specifically for music festivals, in response to tragic drug-related deaths across Australia, though it’s had a positive result over the schoolies period as well.
Scores of school leavers – including here on the Gold Coast – have been utilising the app to keep in touch with mates.
Gold Coast Schoolie, Casey, is just one of over 3,000 who downloaded the app last week and says the app quickly proved extremely useful.
“We had lost our mate on a night out and used SearchParty to find him.
“He was being treated by the Red Frogs and we had no idea where he was.
“We saw his location on SearchParty, took him back to our apartment when he was cleared by the medics, and took care of him until his parents could come and get him.
“Without SearchParty, we wouldn’t have even known where to start looking for him,” Casey said.
Another Gold Coast schoolie, Joel, had a similar experience.
“We made a Party on the app before we all went out.
“When it was time to go home, our mate was nowhere to be seen.
“We used SearchParty to find him – he wasn’t in a good way, so we walked him back to our apartment and kept an eye on him.”
SearchParty co-founder Jade Mulholland says the app is not a replacement for Emergency Services, and even features an emergency 000 button.
“Sometimes people are scared to ask for help or go to the medic tent because they are worried about drug searches, fines or getting charged.
“SearchParty helps friends to look out for each other when they may be drug or alcohol affected. They can find their friends, get medical help and alert their whole group if a situation gets out of hand.”
“Drug use is commonplace at festivals and even more people are affected by alcohol, heatstroke and dehydration.
“We won’t stop people from taking drugs, but we wanted to make music festivals and major events such as Schoolies safer across the board.
“Whether attendees are drug or alcohol affected, or are feeling vulnerable or being harassed, SearchParty provides a simple way to stay connected to friends and get immediate help,” Jade said.