Alcohol & Festivals..

 

The majority of us would have seen that one person or that group of people ‘off their face’ at an event of some-sort, whether this be at a music festival or a football match, this is always an issue. But why is this always happening? What is being done to prevent this? It’s becoming an issue for events as some start to get a bad reputation as many fights break out and crowds can start to become rowdy. As well as these issues, underage drinking at events has become a rising issue.

passed out.jpg

Well, when there are posts like this found online easily, there is no wonder that more and more people, whether they are underage or not, are getting drunk. It has become glamoured and is seen almost as a fun challenge to see how much alcohol you can sneak in to an event, the more creative way the better. Even I have tried to bring alcohol into the festival site (and succeeded I might add). But why? I can think of a few reasons why I did. The biggest one being that buying alcohol at the bar is just ridiculously expensive!  According to the Guardian, drinks prices are on the rise, with the highest cost in the UK being Glastonbury festival at £4.40 being the average cost of a beer! As well as the price, the queues to the bar are so long. I don’t want to be queuing for a drink, which inevitably, will be split on the floor straight after I get it by some idiot dancing away without any cares. And this seems to be the reason for other people too and as mentioned here, people often don’t have a lot of money after buying the event ticket and they need to save money somehow.

It is unavoidable that people will get drunk, if they are in the mind set, it will happen. Are there ways to control this or to stop people getting too drunk? Perhaps. There are implications that the event can put in place, things that the attendees can keep in mind and businesses that have taken advantage of this situation and have come up with their own ideas.

First things first, I think it would be a whole lot better if more events gave out free drinking water at the bars and drink stands. This happens at most music venues and it proves to be effective as when people start to overheat then they have relief from this instead of trying to re-hydrate themselves with a beer. This way, even if people will carry on drinking alcohol after they’ve had a pint of water, they are less likely to become dehydrated and pass out.

Water

This is an example at Glastonbury, a kiosk providing free water, there needs to be more of these around!

I know there are free drinking water points, but usually they are so little and so far away from anything. Also, security loves to take away bottles. This way, if the bar staff see that someone is too drunk whilst trying to get served, they can just hand them drinking water instead to sober up. It has now become necessary for every festival organization in Amsterdam to make free refills of water bottles possible at future outdoor events, not just at the refill points, but also at bars. This has been endorsed by the mayor of Amsterdam and has said that festival goers need to be ‘protected from the dangers of dehydration or fatigue and should thus have unlimited access to free drinking water.

Other methods to control alcohol would be picking a method for checking ID and use it consistently. Having a system will make checking ID easier, faster, and more accurate. This will stop potential underage drinkers and stop people without their ID from drinking (annoying for them, better for the event). Or alternatively, when the ticket for the event gets scanned, ask to see their ID, if they are over 18, provide one coloured wristband, and under 18, another. This way, the bar staff will know not to serve the underage people.

 

Alternatively, wearable technology.. It is the future after all!

vive

Vive Smart Bracelet monitors your alcohol and dehydration levels when you go out, and lets your friends know if you’ve had too much. The band connects to a smartphone app, and monitors your alcohol intake as soon as you start drinking. It will then buzz periodically throughout the night, and if you squeeze the bracelet in response, the app translates that as you being fine. When you don’t squeeze the bracelet though, the app then notifies your friends via social media platforms to come find you and make sure you’re okay… Amazing!

It may be out of the event organizers hands that people will inevitably get drunk but, as shown, there are methods to help the matter.

 

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