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Bestival “devastated” after woman dies at new Dorset event

Bestival organisers have said they are “devastated” after a 25-year-old woman was found dead at last weekend’s festival, its first at Lulworth castle in Dorset.

The death of Louella Fletcher-Michie in the early hours of yesterday morning overshadowed an otherwise successful and well received 14th edition of the festival, which previously took place on the Isle of Wight.

A statement from Bestival organiser Rob da Bank and his team says they were “devastated to hear about this tragic news. We continue to support the police in their ongoing investigation and our thoughts and prayers are with all the woman’s family and friends.”

The body of Fletcher-Michie, the daughter of Holby City actor John Michie, was discovered in a wooded area at the edge of the festival site around 1am on Monday 11 September, Dorset police say. A 28-year old man ‘known to Louella’ has been arrested in connection with her death, and is also being questioned on suspicion of supplying illegal drugs.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the woman’s family and friends”

Although initially widely reported as being a murder inquiry, Dorset police chief inspector Sarah Derbyshire says the circumstances of Fletcher-Michie’s death are still under investigation. “Detectives are working tirelessly to investigate the full circumstances surrounding this tragic death,” she explains. “A post-mortem examination took place that was inconclusive, and therefore we need to undertake a number of other examinations before we can establish why she died.”

She adds that the body shows “no clear signs of assault”.

John Michie tells The Sun: “It’s not murder – they were friends. It was just a tragic mistake, a tragic accident.”

Acts who played Bestival 2017, which had a daily capacity of 35,000, included The xx, A Tribe Called Quest, Pet Shop Boys, Soulwax, Rag’n’Bone Man and Laura Mvula.

 


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Larmer Tree Festival on hiatus in 2017

Larmer Tree Festival will take a year off in 2017 to “fully refresh both creatively and personally”, founder James Shepard has announced.

The independent UK festival, whose last event, from 13 to 17 July, was headlined by Tom Odell, The Stranglers, Calexico, Jamie Cullum and Caro Emerald, will return in its original two-day format next summer (20–22 July).

In a statement, Shepard, a co-director with Julia Safe and Coda agent Rob Challice, thanks the festival’s “many audience members for their constant support of Larmer Tree over the past 26 years and the endless enthusiasm and hard work of everyone involved so far.

“There’s no doubt that it’s the passion and care of such a fantastic team that makes Larmer Tree Festival the truly unique event that it is, and will continue to be.”

Larmer Tree was founded in 1991, and won the 2008 UK Festival Award for best family festival.

 


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