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Arrests made over Mutiny Festival deaths

Three people remain in police custody after two festivalgoers died at Portsmouth's Mutiny Festival, reportedly after ingesting high-strength MDMA

By IQ on 29 May 2018

Mutiny Festival 2018

Mutiny Festival 2018

image © Mutiny in the Park Ltd

Hampshire Constabulary has arrested three suspected drug dealers after two people lost their lives at last weekend’s Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth, UK.

Promoter Mutiny in the Park – which made the decision to cancel the second day of the event, following the deaths on Saturday 26 May – says it was made “aware of a dangerous high-strength or bad-batch substance on site”, and urged festivalgoers “not to take any substances whatsoever”.

The deceased, later named as 20-year-old Tommy Cowan and 18-year-old Georgia Jones, are believed to have fallen ill after taking high-strength ‘Green Heineken’ ecstasy pills, according to local media. Both died at Queen Alexandra Hospital, say police.

Three men, two aged 20 and one aged 22, have been arrested on suspicion of supplying class-A drugs, and remain in police custody.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, organisers said: “We would like to apologise for the cancellation of today’s festival. But in the light of yesterday’s tragic circumstances our decision was supported by the police [as] we needed to safeguard our festival family and respect the young people who sadly lost their lives.

“We would like to thank people for their patience and understanding”

“We are, of course, aware that many people are asking about refunds – we are actively working with our insurers and will update on this position as soon as we’re able. We would like to thank people for their patience and understanding under these very difficult circumstances.”

The use of ecstasy/MDMA is on the rise in Europe, especially in the form of high-potency ecstasy pills.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has expressed concern about MDMA producers’ “use of sophisticated and targeted marketing” and production of “high-dose powders, crystals and tablets with a range of logos, colours and shapes” to give the impression of quality, “after a lengthy period in which poor drug quality and adulteration had resulted in a decline in use”.

Mutiny Festival, originally Mutiny in the Park, was founded in 2014, and has taken place in Portsmouth’s 15,000-cap. King George V Fields since 2016. Performers this year included Dizzee Rascal, who headlined on Saturday, and Craig David’s TS5 and Sean Paul, who were due to perform on Sunday.


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