THE MUTINY Festival in Portsmouth is to remain at 15,000 capacity as organiser Luke Betts aims for moderate growth in the event’s “first stable year” of its five year history.
After several relocations plus early competition from Shakedown (cap. 17,000), Wild Life (35,000) and other South Coast events, Mutiny fought back by combining low ticket prices with strong special guests, says Betts.
Headliners this year are Craig David and Andy C, with a weekend ticket costing £64.49.
“We started in 2014 in Victoria Park, and planned to grow into a new site at King George V Fields in 2015. But Portsmouth won the America’s Cup that year and reserved the site for the build-up events,” he tells Festival. “So we had to run before we could walk, going straight to 15,000 at Fontwell Park racecourse in Chichester.
“We were blessed with good attendances but it’s been a turbulent landscape with Wildlife, Shakedown, Southampton’s Common People [25,000] and Victorious [100,000] on our doorstep. We moved to King George V Fields in 2016 and last year was the first year we’d kept the same site.”
However, with Wild Life and Shakedown not taking place this year, says Betts, “It’s survival of the fittest. We’ve always been super affordable – £15 in Year 1 – and we get flack for that at industry events.
“But, unless you’re Glastonbury , the days when people want to spend £200 for a ticket, plus tent, clothes and food and drink for the week are gone. We need to grow organically. I can’t just spend another £220,000 on artistes to get bigger.”
As well as Mutiny in the Park Ltd, Betts runs venues and bars nationally with his company Voodoo Leisure and is backed by US business JDI Investments.
“The days when people want to spend £200 for a ticket, plus tent, clothes and food and drink are gone”