South Central Festival 2019: Revellers left fuming after bags with expensive items are ‘thrown in bin’ – but organiser defends ‘counter terrorism’ measure

REVELLERS attending South Central Festival have blamed organisers for losing bags with expensive items and medication – with staff allegedly shrugging it off by saying: ‘They’ve been thrown away.’

Sunday, 26th May 2019, 8:00 pm
South Central Festival On Saturday held at King George V Playing Fields in Portsmouth - Pictured is the crowd as Example performs. Picture: Vernon Nash (250519-053)
South Central Festival On Saturday held at King George V Playing Fields in Portsmouth - Pictured is the crowd as Example performs. Picture: Vernon Nash (250519-053)

Zara Searly, 21, of Havant, and her two friends thought nothing of having their rucksacks taken off them by security upon entry to the high-profile event on Saturday afternoon.

But they were left shocked when on leaving the event their bags were nowhere to be seen – with a manager saying they had been ditched.

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South Central Festival On Saturday held at King George V Playing Fields in Portsmouth - Pictured is the crowd as Example performs. Picture: Vernon Nash (250519-053)

Zara said: ‘Security said it would be fine to leave the bags with them but when we went to get them at the end they were not there.

‘The manager just said “Oh no they would have been thrown away”. We couldn’t believe it. My asthma medication was in the bag and my friend’s £1,000 iPhone was in her bag.

‘There were other people – about eight people – who were told the same thing. Some of them were very upset. The situation probably got worse because we left at 11.45pm before the festival finished.

‘It just seems a bit suspicious how all these bags can suddenly disappear. They must have known there was important things in them so it is strange just to throw them away.

‘They must have thrown away a lot of bags. We weren’t told we couldn’t take bags.’

She added: ‘It’s unacceptable. It ruined what a good time we had.’

But festival organiser Luke Betts said security staff do not hold bags – with people warned they could not bring them.

He said: ‘We don’t hold bags. Everyone is told this – it’s basic counter terrorism.

‘We have lockers inside the festival. We don’t let bags on to the site that are bigger than A4 especially post (the) Manchester (bombings).

‘We can’t have lockers outside for bags again for really obvious terrorism reasons. This is all advertised very clearly beforehand.’