The festival season is upon us again and for many teenagers attending their first festival is an undisputed rite of passage, as they celebrate the end of exams and enjoy some adult independence. But with many teenagers wanting to enjoy themselves this could land traders in trouble if they make illegal underage sales.
Festivals are a place for friends and families to have fun outdoors, learning about new cultures and trying different things. Often at festivals or beach parties, people lose their inhibitions and a respect for the law can become blurred.
Most festivals welcome all ages; at a festival all traders will communicate their policy to customers so expect to be asked for ID if under 25, you will be challenged and if a trader sells or knowingly allows the sale of alcohol to a person under the age of 18 it is an offence.
Traders be alert with “Proxy Sales” as this will be on the rise, adults buying alcohol for underage drinkers is something traders must watch out for, they must make sure if buying alcohol for someone else they are over 18.
To assist businesses, Trading Standards South West (TSSW) have developed an online interactive toolkit No Proof of Age No Sale (www.npoans.org.uk) to help train staff on the underage sales prevention of alcohol and other age restricted products and services.
Anthea Durant, Trading Standards Authorised Officer says “For many retailers attending festivals, challenges arise with age restricted products and we are urging retailers to be stringent with their transactions as under age sales can leave them at risk of being fined for breaking the law and can result in their customers being placed in danger. You can make the most of your music festival experience by partying safely. ”
Festivals are an amazing experience for young people. It’s not all about alcohol and tattoos. There’s fancy dress and glitter too!
Trading Standards are also highlighting a selection of festival paraphernalia that carry age restrictions.
- Bladed instruments and cutlery – seen as an essential item for camping trips, knives and other bladed instruments should not be sold to anyone under the age of 18.
- Gas canisters: whether used to refill cigarette lighters or gas camping stoves, butane gas canisters should not be sold to anyone under 18 years of age – nor should barbecue lighting sticks.
- Tattooing: some festival-goers might mark the occasion with a new tattoo, however it is an offence to tattoo anyone under 18, except for henna “tattoos” which do not fall under this legislation.