PLANS to turn an event that ended in heartbreak this year into an over-18s event ‘are encouraging,’ says the councillor in charge of licensing at the city council.
Mutiny Festival organisers confirmed the two-day event will return next year over the late May Bank Holiday weekend – but under a different name and with a new age restriction – following this year’s tragedy where two people died after taking drugs.
Councillor Steve Pitt, Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: ‘We are in conversation with the organisers about their new event, nothing has been signed off yet but that is normal for any event, with detailed plans approved nearer the time.
‘It’s encouraging they intend for it to be an over-18s event and I look forward to getting more information on their plans.’
Mutiny Festival has a licence to run until 2020. The Sunday of this year’s event on King George V Playing Fields in Cosham was cancelled after the deaths of Tommy Cowan, 20, and Georgia Jones, 18.
The pair were among 15 people taken to hospital.
In a statement organisers said: ‘Mutiny Festival made significant losses due to our decision to cancel the Sunday event to ensure the safety of our customers.
‘Last week we supplied information to our solicitors on the extent of these losses.
‘We want to assure customers we are not closing the company or going into administration. As ethical and local business people we’re determined to do the right thing by our festival family.’
Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson wants assurance from emergency services the event can be run safely.
He said: ‘We need to take a close look at what happened this year to see what lessons have been learned to make sure this sort of tragedy doesn’t happen again.’
Locals reacted to the news the festival will return on The News’ Facebook page.
Michelle Greensmith said: ‘Cannot believe this is going ahead – how disrespectful to the families that have lost their loved ones.’
Ben Mitchell said: ‘Take back my previous comments saying they’d just sink the company and do a runner. Mutiny continue to impress me as a seriously classy organisation.’