Parents of those who died of drug-related incidents at Mutiny Festival speak out

Two people passed away in separate incidents at the Portsmouth festival

Parents have spoken out to warn of the dangers of drugs after their children died at Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth over the weekend, leading the organisers to cancel the final day.

18-year-old Georgia Jones and 20-year-old Tommy Cowan died in separate incidents at the festival’s site in King George V Playing Fields, Cosham.

Hampshire police have said the deaths are not being treated as suspicious.

“If nothing else I hope what has happened to her will deter you from taking anything ever,” wrote Georgia’s mother Janine on Faecbook. “The pills had caused her temperature to rise so high it made her fit for 45 minutes.”

She continued added: “My little girl was 18 and full of life.

“I just hope this stops at least some of you from ending up the same.”

Meanwhile, Tommy Cowan’s father Damian told local paper The News that his son “loved life and he loved his little boy.”

“He was everything,” he said. “He was a good lad – unfortunately he made a bad choice.”

Speaking to the BBC, he added: “It’s no good saying ‘don’t do drugs’, all I can say is ‘take this on board, look what’s happened, if you want to end up that way, carry on’. If you don’t, don’t even think about it.”

On Saturday, the festival issued a “harm prevention alert” via Twitter to warn festival-goers about the use of drugs.

The message described a “dangerous high-strength or bad-batch substance on site,” and asked Twitter users to retweet the information.

Police were alerted when an 18-year-old woman fell ill at 7.10pm on Saturday night (26 May) and a 20-year-old man collapsed 20 minutes later.

They were both taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, but later died.

Dizzee Rascal, Craig David and Sean Paul were among the bigger names expected to play at the event this weekend.

In a statement, Hampshire Police said: “The deaths are being treated as separate incidents at this stage. They are not being treated as suspicious but inquiries are being made to determine the circumstances of what happened in each case.”

Police confirmed that the families had been informed and were being supported by specialist offices.

Amid concerns about access to water at the festival, organisers released a statement via the event’s website to announce that the final day was cancelled.

The statement reads: “Following the terrible news from earlier today, the team behind Mutiny Festival are incredibly sad to announce that the Sunday of the festival has been cancelled as a safety precaution.

The safety of our amazing customers has always been paramount to us and so to keep everyone safe and in respect to those who have passed, we have taken the decision not to open today. As you can imagine, this decision was not taken lightly and was taken with the support of the local statutory authorities who we continue to work with.

“Enquiries are being made into the circumstances of what has happened, but we must reiterate our advice to all our customers to responsibly dispose of any substances.

“More information will follow when available, we appreciate your understanding at this difficult time.”