SOUTHBANK, Australia — The founder of Bush Doof festival Earthcore was the happiest on the day he died on the floor of a Melbourne bar, long-time friends who had seen him that day said.
Spiros Boursinos had just secured sites for two dance festivals and was celebrating with friends who helped arrange the events.
Boursinos started his event business when he was just 17, building Earthcore into a festival that attracted thousands of music lovers like himself.
But he was battling untreated anxiety and slipped into a drug-induced psychosis in the early hours of October 20, 2018.
He called triple zero five times in under 15 minutes while erratically pacing around the Antique Bar in Elsternwick, telling the operator that he was being attacked.
“I’m about to get f***ing killed,” he said in one of the calls played in the Victorian Coroners Court on April 1.
“Don’t. Please leave me alone. Call the police.”
Boursinos repeated the bar’s address repeatedly in the calls. Still, lawyer Lindsay Spence told the inquest that emergency services had been unable to ascertain the location or exact nature of the incident.
It was only when other people called for help that officers were dispatched.
“By that time, the incident had already escalated,” Spence said.
CCTV footage played in the inquest showed him pacing and walking behind the bar, where he picked up a bottle and smashed it against a window.
Others in the bar described his state as hyper-alert, as if he had a psychotic episode.
The footage showed Boursinos being restrained by the bar owner Sam Falleti, a bartender, and another patron.
Spence said he was physically restrained for just under five minutes, and Boursinos was seen struggling under Falleti’s total weight until shortly before officers arrived.
Officers handcuffed the unconscious man and placed him in the recovery position while trying to rouse him.
He remained handcuffed for seven minutes until his condition rapidly deteriorated, but despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation efforts, he died.
An autopsy found he had experienced pressure on his neck during the incident and had cocaine in his system.
Falleti immediately gave a statement to the police, describing Boursinos as “freaking out.”
“I had never seen anyone behaving like that,” he said.
When someone suggested calling the police, Falleti said to call for an ambulance instead because it appeared to be a medical issue.
But the court heard nobody associated with the bar had called emergency services or requested an ambulance.
The inquest is continuing.
(Edited by Amrita Das and Ojaswin Kathuria)