Unfortunately as of 12/7, less than six weeks before the event, we have sold only 5 under-18 tickets, despite the efforts to push it through the rugby, football, and hockey clubs.
With the complications outlined below, we were facing a decision with the fire and safety planning on how to manage under-18s and keep the “wet” and “dry” areas separate from an alcohol consumption point of view.
With just 5 tickets sold, we could not justify the effort to make the event successful for families.
We do of course apologise for any inconvenience caused, and we have reached out to those families to reimburse their tickets.
Right, this is a long one.
Last year, we went with over-18s only. There’s legislation in Northern Ireland that forces us to separate the “wet” and “dry” areas from an alcohol point of view – this is an outdoor festival, so is handled very differently from a legal perspective.
This year, we’re giving it a shot on the Saturday only. We’ll allow under-5s in free if you really want to bring them along (bring some ear defenders though, it’ll be loud!) – and it will be £10 for under-18s – and they’ll be able to watch the show from a “dry” family viewing area, or we’ll run a program of activities on the back pitches, depending on numbers.
So there’s more fencing needed, and more security at the entry / exit points from the bar and games areas. Parents can go into the bar, but cannot take their drinks out of that area. Soft drinks will be available from the food and drink stalls that will be open to everyone – that will be a general access area.
That obviously creates some tension in the system, so it’s a trial only. Anyone appearing under 25 will need some ID at the gate. The wristband you receive will indicate if you’re allowed into the bar area or not. The bar will be staffed with volunteers, so they can’t be asked to check IDs at the point of sale. Under-18s will need to arrive with a parent / guardian / responsible adult – that person is responsible for their own actions and safety.
Because of all of that, there is no under-18s in the VIP area. And Friday night will be over-18s only, as we’re only getting started later in the day. But please do bring the kids for a day on the Saturday afternoon – hopefully we can provide a good day out that is safe and fun for everyone, within the boundaries we have been set!