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Mutiny cancelled after drug deaths

1 June 2018

THE FINAL day of Mutiny Festival (cap. 15,000) in Portsmouth was cancelled after two people, who are believed to have taken the drug ecstasy, died.

Georgia Jones, 18, and Tommy Cowan, 20, both died after attending the event at King George V Fields on 26 May.

Around 15 others were also admitted to hospital, although not all for drug-related illnesses. Organisers of the festival, founded in 2014, had earlier issued a warning about a “dangerous high-strength substance” on site.

Following the deaths organisers with the support of Hampshire Police called off the final day, which had been due to feature acts including Craig David, Dizzee Rascal and Sean Paul, as a “safety precaution” fearing the drugs batch was still in circulation.

A number of festival-goers have claimed security on the site was lax, which allowed the drugs to be brought in, something Mutiny has denied.

“Security for Mutiny was handled by Vespasian Security, a professional crowd management firm specialising in festivals and large-scale events,” says a spokesman for the festival.

“As well as entry searches, drugs dogs were used at the gates and gold standard entry measures were in place for younger festival-goers with a pre-registration system, their own access gates with iPad log-ins and identity evidence measures.”

Organisers have also assured festival-goers they are working with insurers to resolve the issue of refunds. It is unclear if the festival will be covered by insurance, following its decision to call off the event.

“It is a tricky one as it depends if they were at fault, or the local authority believes that is the case,” an insurance expert tells LIVE UK. “If they took the decision themselves on moral grounds they are not insured.”

Five people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in supplying Class A drugs at the festival.

Meanwhile Portsmouth City Council cancelled music events Live at the Bandstand and Undercover Skatepark, after the authority decided the events could not be “safely managed”.

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