Mutiny Festival deaths: Portsmouth event cancelled after two young people die in separate incidents

Organisers had issued warning of ‘dangerous high-strength or bad-batch substance on site’

Harriet Agerholm
Sunday 27 May 2018 13:03 BST
Craig David and Sean Paul were due to top Sunday’s bill before the event was called off
Craig David and Sean Paul were due to top Sunday’s bill before the event was called off

Two young people have died after collapsing at a Portsmouth music festival.

An 18-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man died in separate incidents at Mutiny Festival, which was taking place at King George V Playing Fields in Cosham.

Organisers have cancelled the second day of the event, which was to be headlined by Craig David and Sean Paul, after warning of a “dangerous high strength or bad batch substance on site”.

The announcement, which organisers said was a “safety precaution”, prompted demands for refunds from disappointed customers on social media.

The deaths are not being treated as suspicious, although Hampshire Constabulary said enquiries were being made to determine the circumstances.

Mutiny Festival had issued a harm prevention alert on social media on Saturday night warning of “a dangerous high-strength or bad-batch substance on site”.

“We strongly urge you not take any substances whatsoever and to report any symptoms of illness/discomfort immediately to medical, welfare or the safeguarding team,” the announcement said.

“Please stay alert and look out for each other.”

Police were first made aware of the woman falling ill at the site on Saturday evening and the man was found collapsed around 20 minutes later.

Both were taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital, where they later died.

A statement posted on the music festival’s Twitter page said: “Mutiny Festivals are devastated to hear of the tragic loss of life from its festival family today.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends at this very difficult time and we will continue to work with the authorities to support them in any way possible.”

It later added: “Following the terrible news from earlier today, the team behind Mutiny Festival are incredibly sad to announce that the Sunday of the festival has been cancelled as a safety precaution.

“The safety of our amazing customers has always been paramount to us and so to keep everyone safe and in respect to those who have passed, we have taken the decision not to open today.

“As you can imagine, this decision was not taken lightly and was taken with the support of the local statutory authorities who we continue to work with.”

The organisers also urged customers to “responsibly dispose” of any substances.

Police have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

The force said: “At 7.10pm on Saturday 26 May, we were informed that an 18-year-old woman had fallen ill at the festival site in King George V Playing Fields, Cosham.

“The woman was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital where she later died.

“At 7.30pm, a 20-year-old man was found collapsed at the festival site. He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital where he later died.

“The deaths are being treated as separate incidents at this stage. They are not being treated as suspicious but inquiries are being made to determine the circumstances of what happened in each case.”

The families of both people were informed and were being supported by specialist officers, the force said.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact police on 101.

Press Association contributed to this report

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