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Policies for Children Attending Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Many music festivals promote themselves as family friendly and this can be a big draw for potential festival-goers who have children. Organisers of festivals that allow children on-site should create and make publicly available their policy on children attending the festival and measures in place to ensure child safety. 


Aside from the obvious precautions organisers should take to ensure child safety any licensing authority or organisation responsible for issuing permits will want to see a comprehensive policy regarding child welfare that the festival organisers will publish and put in place for the duration of the event. The child safety or welfare policies issued by festival organisers are very similar and should contain fundamental policies for specific issues and are often tied to terms and conditions of ticket sales and entry. Festival organisers should also ensure that sufficient resources are put in place to manage these policies as part of their child welfare management. What are the key elements of a child safety welfare policy?

Ticket Purchase. 
In most cases tickets for those under a specified age (usually 18) must be purchased linked to adult ticket purchase, usually this will be a parent or other legal guardian. When buying tickets, the purchasers should indicate the age of any children they will be accompanying and most organisers often categorise age into specific groups as differing rules can be applied to each and may include: young children aged 0 – 5 years, juniors aged 6 – 12 years and teenagers aged 13 – 17 years. For added precautions organisers can insist on any Nominated Guardians to complete some kind of ‘Non-Legal Guardianship Form’ declaration which must be presented to organisers on demand.

Accompanying. 
The organisers should have strict policies on children in all age groups being accompanied at all times by their parent or designated guardian. This should be enforced at entry to the festival site and at all times for the duration of the event. Child specific wristbands can be issued to clearly indicate to organisers that a festival-goer is a child that should be accompanied by an adult. Children should only camp and stay with their parents or guardians on-site and will not be allowed to stay or camp alone. 

Child Specific Areas.
 
Any family friendly festival will likely have specific areas dedicated to the entertainment and care of children with appropriate activities for each age group. Festival organisers must ensure that these areas are staffed by appropriately trained people who have had current DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks. For some organisers the provision of a babysitting service can be advantageous for parents and guardians who would like some adult only time.

L
ost Children. 
Losing a child of any age can be a traumatic experience for both parents and the child particularly on a festival site with tens of thousands for festival-goers. Any child specific wristband issued to each child should contain the responsible adult's contact details and phone number. An easy to find Welfare Centre should be set up so adults know where lost children will be if found unaccompanied.

For organisers planning their music festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including the storage of policy documentation. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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