Organisers speak out following Mutiny Festival deaths

Organisers speak out following Mutiny Festival deaths

Organisers of Portsmouth's Mutiny Festival have thanked the "amazing festival family" for its support following the tragic events of last weekend.

Tommy Cowan, 20, and Georgia Jones, 18, died after falling ill at the event on May 26. Five people arrested following enquiries into drugs supply at the festival have been released but remain under investigation.

The festival, which cancelled its second day in the wake of the tragedies, was founded by local nightclub owner Luke Betts of promoter Mutiny In The Park.

Betts told The Portsmouth News: "We’re devastated. It’s nothing compared to what I imagine Georgia Jones and Tommy Cowan’s parents are going through."

A new statement by organisers, posted on the event's website today, offered advice for ticket-holders.

"Whilst we continue to come to terms with the tragic events of the weekend, we’ve been working with our event insurers and ticketing agents in connection with the cancellation. Please rest assured that all of our ticketing partners are extremely reputable, national and international ticketing companies who are keen to help with the refund process. 

"We’d like to say thank you to all of our amazing festival family for your support and also for your patience and understanding at this extremely difficult time."

Consequentially, Portsmouth City Council has cancelled this weekend's unrelated Live At The Bandstand events, which attracted nearly 15,000 people last year. Plans for a replacement large-scale bandstand event are now being developed for September.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: "Unfortunately we have decided not to go ahead with this weekend's bandstand events. This was going to be the season's big event on Castle Field and following the tragic events at Mutiny Festival it was felt we would have to put extra measures in place to safely manage it and this wasn't practical at such short notice.

"I am fully aware that this will be a huge disappointment to people, but hope they can understand the decision under the circumstances. However as a result we are now planning a replacement Last Night Of The Bandstand event to finish the season and will let everyone know details as soon as they are available."

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