Mutiny, the music festival in Portsmouth, has been under pressure following the call from Hampshire Police to ban under-18s to get in. The police was concerned due to allegations of violent crime, including sexual assault, involving youngsters at the event this year (27-28 May).
City councillors, however, dismissed the ban but ordered organisers to make the event safer. Festival organisers were also told to monitor and report back on noise levels at next year’s event after complaints from residents.
Local newspaper The News reported that a licensing meeting heard that police had repeatedly asked the festival, since it started in 2014, to make sure youngsters were protected while on site.
The newspaper said Ed Elton, the barrister on behalf of the police, told the hearing that more concerns had been raised. The problem, he said, “only exists because under-18s are at the festival”.
Make it safe
Mutiny Festival features a lineup of dance, hip-hop, grime and drum & bass creating a carnival-like atmosphere on the UK’s south coast. The next outing will take place on 26-27 May 2018 and marks the festival’s fifth birthday.
The festival takes four different stages, each with their own genre focus. Besides the music, Mutiny brings in carnival performers, secret discos, international street food and many more features.
Luke Betts, event co-organiser, warned that the festival would not be viable if restricted to over 18s. According to the newspaper, Betts also pointed out that the event may lose out on headline acts who would not be interested in playing at an adult-only event.
The News said that speaking after the meeting, Betts commented: “Good old-fashioned British common sense has prevailed. ‘99 per cent of people are well-behaved, and we will make sure they are safe and not affected by the actions of others.”
To improve security, some changes will be implemented. These include requiring under-18s to produce photographic ID, although ID would not be required to be accompanied by an adult.
Also, a new safeguarding manager will be recruited and new wristbands will be introduced to keep track of under-18s.
Alleged incidents this year included a 17-year-old girl hit by a bottle of drink, and a boy, 13, who was found drunk a short distance from the event having been punched four times in the face.