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Age old decision – children attending a rock festival

It’s a post-GCSE ritual for thousands of 16-year-olds; a rite of passage for any young adult before going into the sixth form. For most parents the thought of their teenager being away for 72 hours at a music festival is a major decision. Would you let your teenage children attend a music festival?


Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

These words strike fear into most parents with young adults. The Reading and Leeds Festivals take place simultaneously across the August bank holiday weekend. The minimum age for teenagers attending festivals without an adult is 16. All festivals have strict regulations about buying alcohol on site and anyone who looks under 21 should carry ID.

Safety is key

Know the group of friends going to the music festival and trust your instincts. If you feel that they won’t keep your teenager safe, then refuse permission to attend. Talk to other families whose children have gone to festivals, so you can see the bigger picture.

Drugs, sex or both

Alcohol can fuel casual sex and recreation drug taking. Being at a music festival is a wild few days, with peer pressure leading to experimentation with drugs or sex. Wise parents will need to have those difficult conversations to get their core messages across.

Peace of mind

Mobile phones allow parents can keep in touch, but you know your child best. If you feel your teenager is not old enough at 16 or 17 to cope with the whole free and easy festival atmosphere, then stop them attending. Within this age group, children differ hugely in their maturity, with some being streetwise and others being surprisingly naive.

The compromise

From my own experience, I would need to be 18 to attend a music festival, as I was not old enough at 16. Although, I had mates at school who attended aged 16. For many families, it will come to a compromise, allowing teenagers to go for a day with clear boundaries about pick-up times. Festivals should be fun but be prepared to have open conversations with your teenager about your fears and your rules. Only then, will you have a happy festival goer and a happy parent.

ChildMax insurance pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave caring for a sick child. It starts from £49.50. Can pay monthly payments for easy budgeting with an initial payment of £8.25 followed by 11 monthly payments of £3.75.

Visit at or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.


Date: 24 June 2019 by Max Robinson