With dozens of police standing sentinel on the rural roads leading into a bush rave festival on the NSW mid-north coast, there was always the threat of some arrests.
But the scores of Subsonic Music Festival attendees who are now facing drug possession charges have stunned authorities and even prompted a magistrate to order a fresh court sitting day to deal with the flood of new cases.
Over five days, including a day either side of the three-day festival which finished on a property at Monkerai near Stroud on Sunday night, Port Stephens police handed out 85 court attendance notices for drug possession and supply, 36 cannabis cautions and charged 14 motorists with drug-driving.
And intelligence from local residents suggests the 15-hour daily police operation, which finished each night at midnight, was met with a stream of pre-dawn traffic along the usually quiet Bucketts Way as 5000 festivalgoers from as far afield as Victoria arrived to take part.
"It was always going to be the fact that the more resources we put into it, then the more results we were going to get," Port Stephens acting crime manager Detective Inspector Mark Magann said.
Local police decided to throw the resources at the festival, which has been run for several years on private property between Dungog and Gloucester, after 16 people were charged with a range of drug offences in 2015.
It included one man allegedly in possession of 45 LSD tabs, more than seven grams of ice, 1.5 grams of ecstasy, 0.5 grams of cocaine, one gram of cannabis and one gram of synthetic cannabis.
So this year, Port Stephens police used two drug detection dogs each day as well as about 25 support officers for the two daily shifts between 9am and midnight.
Among the drugs allegedly seized was cannabis, ecstasy, LSD, magic mushrooms and ketamine.
And with the area coming under the catchment of Dungog Local Court, which only sits once every two months, another local magistrate has been forced to create a fresh list day to deal with the high number of cases.
Detective Inspector Magann said festival organisers and property owners were supportive of the police presence.
Subsonic Music Festival organisers did not respond to attempts to contact them for comment.