Mutiny Festival ‘unlikely to get another chance’ in Portsmouth says council leader

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MUTINY Festival is ‘unlikely’ to be granted a licence again, the leader of Portsmouth City Council has said.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said it is unlikely the council will grant the event a licence next year, following the deaths of 18-year-old Georgia Jones, of Havant, and 20-year-old Tommy Cowan, at West Leigh, on Saturday.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said he thinks it is 'unlikely' that Mutiny Festival will get a licence if it comes back to the city. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said he thinks it is 'unlikely' that Mutiny Festival will get a licence if it comes back to the city. Picture: Malcolm Wells

He said: ‘If the organisers of Mutiny Festival come back when things went so terribly wrong this time, I think it’s unlikely that the licensing panel will give them another chance.

‘I could be wrong but I just don’t see it happening.’

READ MORE: Mutiny Festival deaths: Portsmouth council leader says large events postponed over fears of ‘more bad drugs’

The festival organiser has said it is too early to decide about its future.

As reported by The News, police had concerns about the under-18s attending the festival and asked the council to review the licence. Councillors granted the licence but allowed 16 and 17-year-olds to attend.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said ‘stringent measures’ were agreed but claims they were not as much as police wanted.

Organisers of Mutiny said there were 175 security and crowd management staff, 20 more than police required.

‘There were serious concerns raised after last year’s festival by the police,’ Cllr Vernon-Jackson said

‘There were stringent measures put in place but not as much as the police had wanted.’

The organiser of Mutiny Festival, Luke Betts, has organised a number of other events in the city in the past – but Cllr Vernon-Jackson says these won’t be affected by what has happened.

READ MORE: ‘We’re devastated but nothing compares to Georgia and Tommy’s families’ loss’ – Mutiny Festival founder speaks out

The top politician said: ‘The concerns over Mutiny haven’t been raised about other events.

‘Each one is different and has to be looked at separately, but I think his other events will be absolutely fine.’

The council has previously said it would launch an investigation into the festival.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘After every event run on council land there is a report published to see what went right and what went wrong, to see how things can be improved.

‘Doing this means that if anyone wants to run an event there in the future we can make sure it is done safely.

‘The report should only take a couple of weeks.’