Three men have been arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs after two people died at a music festival and 15 others were hospitalised.
Tommy Cowan, 20, and Georgia Jones, 18, died after taking ‘Green Heineken’ ecstasy in a double tragedy at Portsmouth’s Mutiny Festival on Saturday.
The pair fell ill 20 minutes apart from each other and were both at the centre of dramatic rescue bids by on-site paramedics, in front of horrified festival goers.
One person remains in a ‘critical condition’ in hospital after a ‘bad batch’ of toxic ecstasy was circulated.
Tommy Cowan’s devastated father has slammed organisers for failing to reach out to his family.
Speaking from his home in Havant, Hampshire, Mr Cowan’s father Damian, 43, paid tribute to his son, but revealed he had not been contacted by anyone responsible for organising the festival.
He said: ‘[Tommy] meant everything to me, he was my boy. He was funny, he loved life and he loved his little boy.
‘He was everything. He was a good lad – unfortunately he made a bad choice.’
Delivery driver Mr Cowan added: ‘He was a brilliant dad, he went to work all week, he would buy his son all the best stuff.
‘He was just brilliant, he really was, he was so loving.
‘I’m frustrated that the organisers of the festival – no-one has contacted me to say ‘I’m sorry’.
‘You’d except them to do that. I’m just going to miss him, I really am.’
The mother of the other young victim, Georgia Jones, is warning of the dangers of illegal drugs after her 18-year-old daughter collapsed and died when she took two pills
Janine Milburn, 41, said her daughter Georgia suffered seizures for 45 minutes before her heart stopped several times in hospital and her lungs filled with blood and fluid.
Miss Jones, a care worker from Havant, Hampshire, was enjoying a day of dance music at the Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth when she fell ill at 7.10pm on Saturday.
She was taken to the city’s Queen Alexandra Hospital but could not be saved.
Eighteen-year-old Georgia Jones died after taking two pills at the 15,000-capacity Mutiny Festival
Tommy George Bakeer, 20, from Havant, collapsed in front of revellers 20 minutes after Miss Jones and also died.
Fifteen other festival-goers needed hospital treatment, although it is not clear if they were all drug-related.
One eyewitness said revellers had been taken ‘Green Heineken’ tablets and had seen a girl being treated by paramedics after taking the pills, the Mirror reported.
Organisers had warned revellers of a ‘bad batch’ of high-strength drugs circulating the festival site and they cancelled yesterday’s final day as a ‘safety precaution.’
Writing on Facebook, healthcare assistant Mrs Milburn said her daughter’s death should serve as a warning to others tempted to take drugs.
She said: ‘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.
Georgia Jones fitted for 45-minutes after taking two pills at Mutiny Festival
The second victim has been named as 20-year-old Tommy Cowan (pictured) from Havant, also known as Tommy Bakeer, who became a father in 2016
‘The pills had caused her temperature to rise so high it made her fit for 45 minutes. This then caused her muscle to break down and turn her blood acidic.
‘Her heart was irregular and stopped numerous times, and then her lungs filled with blood and fluid and I made the decision to turn everything off.
‘My little girl was 18 and full of life. I just hope this stops at least some of you from ending up the same.’
A heartbreaking letter posted by Georgia’s mother on Facebook read: ‘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.’
She continued: ‘The pills had caused her temperature to rise so high it made her fit for 45 mins.
‘This then caused her muscle to break down and turn her blood acidic. Her heart was irregular and stopped numerous times and then her lungs filled with blood and fluid and I made the decision to turn everything off.
‘My little girl was 18 and full of life, I just hope this stops at least some of you from ending up the same.’
Janine today updated her profile picture on Facebook to a photo of her daughter.
About 30,000 people had been due to watch headliners Craig David and Sean Paul close the festival, held over two days in Portsmouth’s King George V playing fields.
Revellers leaving the event on Saturday described seeing Mr Bakeer, a father of one, ‘dying’ on the ground while high on drugs.
Tributes were paid on Facebook to 20-year-old Tommy who died at the festival
Ashleigh Dennison, 22, from Worthing, West Sussex, said: ‘I was in the tent with my friends and it was obvious this boy was on drugs but he was having a good time.
‘Then, 15 minutes later, he was completely gone. All around his mouth it was blue, he was floppy and there was no response from him. His eyes were just white. I knew that was it, he was gone.
‘I think he was probably on pills or ketamine, perhaps MDMA because he was gurning. I couldn’t believe what I saw, it was scary.’
Another festival-goer, Lauren Matthews, from Portsmouth, Hants, added: ‘It looked he had a fit and didn’t wake back up.
‘We didn’t want to stare to much so we walked off and when we came back he was still lying there surrounded by the ambulance crew. He got taken out on the stretcher.
‘His eyes were closed so it was hard to tell if he had taken something but there was blood coming out of his mouth.’
The mother of Georgia Jones (pictured) paid tribute to the 18-year-old today
Tommy George Bakeer (pictured) was later confirmed as the 20-year-old festival victim
He was a ‘brilliant’ friend, according to 19-year-old Jack Ford, who said they met at college studying uniformed services.
‘He is such a caring guy who would do anything for any one. He loved going out with his mates but most importantly loved spending time with his girlfriend and son,’ said Mr Ford, who lives near Portsmouth.
‘It was a big shock to lose such a great guy like him.’
A tribute to Tommy, who studied Uniformed Services at Havant and South Downs College, said: ‘I can’t believe you’ve been taken this soon we had some amazing times mate.’
Another said: ‘You will be missed by lot of people we had some many memories buddy it was only yesterday we spoke before you went love ya pal.’
And a third commenter wrote: ‘Still haven’t come to terms with last night. It’s unbelievable how quickly life can just be flipped on its head.
‘Hurts to know that you won’t be able to see him grow up to be a man. but I’ll always be here to help him become the best man he can be.’
Police had urged Portsmouth City Council to increase the minimum entry age at the festival from 16 to 18.
Organisers said that there had been ‘revised entry procedures’ for this year’s event, although 16 and 17 year olds were still allowed to buy tickets.
On Thursday, Hampshire Police said they would be clamping down on drugs at the festival by taking a zero-tolerance approach to those caught with even small amounts of illegal drugs or psychoactive substances.
Organisors decided to cancel the event in the wake of the two deaths
The site lay empty today after the two deaths which are not thought to be related
Superintendent Paul Bartolomeo warned: ‘If you are caught with these substances, you will, at the very least, be ejected and barred from returning to the site. You also run the risk of being arrested and receiving a criminal record.’
It is not clear what drug Miss Jones and Mr Bakeer had taken, although it is believed to have been a high-potency form of ecstasy, also known as MDMA.
On Saturday, the organisers of the Love Saves The Day festival in Bristol used social media to warn attendees of a batch of deadly pills, including one named ‘the Punisher’, which contains up to four times the typical expected dose of MDMA.
Meanwhile, Sean Paul paid his respects to the loved ones of the pair who died, as did Craig David, who tweeted: ‘My heart goes out to the family and friends of the two young people who lost their lives at @MutinyFestivals yesterday.’
The deaths are being treated as separate incidents and are not being treated as suspicious. Another person is currently in a critical condition.
An 18-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man have died after falling ill at the Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth (pictured) on Saturday evening
A spokeswoman from Portsmouth Hospitals said: ‘We had 15 people come to the hospital which we think were related to Mutiny Festival.
‘Two of them have sadly died and we have another in a critical condition, as well as another who remains in hospital. Everyone else was in a minor condition.’
The hospital says not all of the patients were admitted for drug-related issues.
The spokeswoman added: ‘It’s difficult to say how many were actually drug-related. For example, this morning we had three more people come in but those were in relation to assault or intoxication.’
Police were first alerted to the woman falling ill at the site on Saturday evening and the man was found collapsed around 20 minutes later.
Both were taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital where they later died.
They were taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth where they later died (file photo)
A statement posted on the music festival’s Twitter page said: ‘Mutiny Festivals are devastated to hear of the tragic loss of life from its festival family today.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends at this very difficult time and we will continue to work with the authorities to support them in any way possible.’
In a message posted on social media after the pair were taken ill, organisers warned of a dangerous substance circulating on site and urged revellers not to take anything.
Police have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
The force said: ‘At 7.10pm on Saturday 26 May, we were informed that an 18-year-old woman had fallen ill at the festival site in King George V Playing Fields, Cosham.
‘The woman was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital where she later died.
‘At 7.30pm, a 20-year-old man was found collapsed at the festival site. He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital where he later died.
‘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.’
The festival organisers shared a harm prevention alert ‘strongly’ urging people not to take any substances because of a ‘dangerous high strength or bad batch substance’ on site
Just two days before the pair’s tragic deaths Hampshire police said they would be clamping down on drugs at the event.
Superintendent Paul Bartolomeo warned about the dangers of drugs prior to the festival, saying they can have ‘fatal consequences’.
On Thursday he said: ‘Our priority is to keep the event and the local area running as smoothly as possible, and we have been working with the organisers to achieve this aim.
‘Those attending can expect to see officers at the site – they will provide help and advice.
‘We would like to remind people that the organisers have a policy that no alcohol can be brought on to the site.
‘Controlled drugs and psychoactive substances are not permitted.
‘If you are caught with these substances, you will, at the very least, be ejected and barred from returning to the site. You also run the risk of being arrested and receiving a criminal record.
‘Even just dabbling in illegal drugs and psychoactive substances can have catastrophic and fatal consequences.’
In a statement on Thursday the force added: ‘The organisers will also employ a 100 per cent bag search policy at the entrance.’
Last year police wanted to ban all under-18s from the festival following concerns over sexual assaults on children and drug use, but instead councillors insisted all youngsters must have photographic ID.
Hampshire Constabulary revealed that in 2017 there were 23 drug-related incidents over the festival weekend, including a 13-year-old boy punched in the face four times after taking nitrous oxide, cannabis and alcohol.
In a statement, festival organiser Luke Betts said the deaths were ‘deeply upsetting’, adding: ‘We again wish to send all our thoughts to the families.’
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.
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