Anorak News | Mutiny festival deaths: test drugs, supply free water and stop blaming victims

Mutiny festival deaths: test drugs, supply free water and stop blaming victims

by | 28th, May 2018

Tommy Bakeer Georgia Jones mutiny festival


Tommy Bakeer’s father does not want his son’s death to be forgotten. Both Tommy, 20, (aka Tommy Cowan) and Georgia Jones, 18, fell ill at the weekend’s Mutiny Festival in Cosham, Portsmouth. Both died in hospital. A third person is critically ill. “I was in the hospital when he was fighting, I held his hand and he died. So I guess he wasn’t alone,” says Tommy Bakeer’s father Damian Cowan. “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.”

He’s right, of course. Taking drugs is dangerous. Their illegality makes them more so. The debate around drugs is tired. The fact remains true: if an adult wants to take drugs, what business is it of the law to empower them or ban them? Neither represent freedom.

Georgia Jones’s mother,  Janine Milburn hopes her daughter’s death would deter others from “taking anything ever”.

As for any criminal case, Hampshire Police say a 20-year-old man from Havant, a 20-year-old from Waterlooville and a 22-year-old man from Cosham are helping police with their enquiries. They remain in police custody.

What says the Press?

Daily Mirror: “‘Rogue GREEN HEINEKEN ecstasy tablets’ blamed for deaths of two people at Mutiny Festival.”

We do not know what caused two apparently healthy young people to die. “Eyewitness Sam, 20” tells the paper: “I saw the girl on the ground being treated by paramedics, it was a horrendous sight, she was in a very bad way. People said she may have had two pills and if they were the Green Heinekens I can see why as my friend only had one and he was in a right state afterwards. We had not heard anything about any drug warning, but as soon as people started getting ill it was blamed on the Green Heinekens.”

Janine Milburn, Georgia’s mother, adds: “As I have now spoken to family members I can now say Georgia died yesterday due to complications after taking two pills at Mutiny. If nothing else I hope what has happened to her will deter you from taking anything ever.”

Mrs Milburn made her comment over social media. The Mirror, which publishes the “exclusive” story after it’s accessed by readers who first agree to watch an advert, says: “Georgia’s family did not wish to make a comment when a reporter visited their home in Havant, Hants.”

The Sun: “‘SHAMBOLIC’ Mutiny Festival where two died after taking ecstasy slammed for ‘shambolic’ security with steward claiming guards failed to search revellers”.

Shambolic times two. How abad was it?

Steward Thomas Hall, 28, told The Sun Online some security guards failed to search people coming in – and even stashed drugs found for their own personal use.

No proof. And why should more control be the remedy for people taking drugs they cannot test and must buy illegally?

Pictures claiming to show drugs smuggled into the festival have also circulated online.

One photo shows condoms strewn across the surface of a toilet cubicle, with the poster alleging that pills were stashed inside and hidden by a dealer.

Would it matter if they were?

But one Twitter user blamed drug dealers and takers for the deaths.

They wrote: “Blaming security when the #mutiny punters bring stuff in and kill their friends.

“Look at yourselves when you kill kids, you know who sells, deals, kills your friends. Deflecting blame doesn’t make you less guilty.”

Daily Mail: “‘Shambolic’ security guards are accused of failing to search revellers at Mutiny festival where girl, 18, and father, 20, died after taking ‘bad batch’ of ecstasy – as police arrest three men.”

Shambolic? There it is again. Can you search cavities? That’s how drugs can get into the venue – inside the dealer and the taker. The Mail’s story is based on the Sun’s story and tweets:

One person wrote on Twitter: ‘The security yesterday at mutiny was f**king shambolic, their sniffer dog was just running round with a tennis ball and not one of us got searched.’

Another said: ‘Security at mutiny yesterday honestly shocking, one sniffer dog, nobody got a pat down search or anything and seemed to be more interested in throwing away my water bottle than looking for drugs!!’

The Guardian: “Concerns raised over festival water supplies after drug deaths”


Concerns have been raised about access to free drinking water at Mutiny festival this weekend after the death of two people believed to have taken high-strength ecstasy pills.

People who attended the event in Portsmouth on Saturday have alleged on social media that there was a lack of drinking water after 4pm, when they claim some of the taps stopped working properly and large queues built up.

The festival’s organisers vehemently denied that access to water was limited and said the 21 taps were working at all times.

Ecstasy use can lead to overheating and dehydration. The NHS advises that drinking too little can be dangerous, but also that too much fluid can affect the brain, as ecstasy tends to make the body retain fluid.


Fiona Measham, a director of the drug-testing charity The Loop, said dozens of people had contacted her expressing their concern about the availability of water at the festival.

“[People] were contacting us to say there was a real problem accessing water and that the pumps were not working properly and water was dripping out. There were big queues around the pump and also people queueing in the sun to get in [to the festival],” she said.

The terms and conditions on the festival website stipulated that attendees could only bring in 500ml water bottles with them. “There is a bigger learning point here about what festivals can do to make sure people have more access to water,” Measham said. “Why are they restricting access to how much water you can bring on site in first place? I don’t think there should be restrictions on that.”

She said Mutiny festival was not unusual in this approach and “all festivals should have better water provision”.

Mutiny says: ” NO Glass, alcohol or food in large quantities is permitted to be brought onto the site. 500ml of water in a sealed plastic container is permitted.” So there is water. But the cool kids might not want it.

No paper has a comment on drugs policy and how it influenced the tragedy.

Posted: 28th, May 2018 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink