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Keep Your Event Legal.

Andy Robertson

With so many elements to manage in putting a successful event together don’t get tripped up by inadvertently breaking the law or allowing illegal activities. Obviously applicable laws vary from country to country so make sure you are familiar with your legal obligations as organiser of your event in a specific location.


For further reference have a read of our previous articles on Licensing and Health and Safety that explain some basic considerations to get your event legally covered. The importance of complying with various laws will to a large extent depend on the nature of your event. 

If you are running a beer festival for example then you are obliged to refuse entry to anyone who is under the legal drinking age. Equally if you are running a comedy show where the content is adult orientated it is unlikely to be suitable for children so a similar age restriction should apply. 

A music event or festival can be open to children but ensure that you make provisions for the safety and welfare of children and families. Age restrictions can be enforced by demanding ID production, some events allow unaccompanied minors over 16 but they will not be able to purchase alcohol. 

During your ticket sales process make sure you clearly communicate the terms and conditions of purchase and the right to refuse admission or eject customers.  

While some events allow customers to bring in alcohol for personal consumption most events do not as they are relying on alcohol sales for revenue. It is not uncommon to find customers who have consumed way too much alcohol before coming to your event, if a customer looks drunk or becomes hostile your door staff and marshals may need to make a decision whether the customer should be admitted. During your event some customers may drink too much alcohol and for the same reasons will have to be ejected. It is your responsibility as event organiser to ensure that your staff are mindful of inebriated customers and what the agreed procedure should be, you have an obligation to keep all customers and staff safe. 

Any kind of drugs are a big no no so ensure you reinforce a zero tolerance to this, particularly at music festivals that have had a long history of drug abuse for decades. Conducting random searches at event entrances can go some way to avoiding customers bringing narcotics into your event, As with alcohol you should watch for customers that consumed something prior to the event and are clearly under the influence when they try to enter. 

The mix of alcohol, drugs and violence are factors you need to be prepared for, aside from vigilant marshalling make sure you have a First Aid location and processes in place to deal with any serious situations and coordinate with local medical facilities and the police. Proper planning for all these eventualities will give you processes and procedures for a safe and legal event. For extra peace of mind don’t forget to get your event fully insured.   

Manage and document all your event process and procedures with an event software solution like FestivalPro. This event management software platform has built in logging for your event documentation and the ticketing functionality allows you to state your terms and conditions of entry. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and are performance artists themselves. Using FestivalPro simplifies your event processes and documentation saving you time and effort. 

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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