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Creating Rules for Music Festival Visitors.

Andy Robertson

As part of the ticket sales process buyers are informed that they must comply with the terms and conditions of sale. These rules can be quite comprehensive and are usually a key part of the festival website. What are the rules of the festival that organisers should include to cover most eventualities.

Every music festival will have a different way of listing their rules of attendance, some prefer a Q&A style while others prefer to list out the main categories of rules. It is essential to create rules that are easy to follow and understand and clearly separate out whether rules stated are strict policies or just advisory.

Strict Rules.
Any strict rules stated should reflect the relevant laws for that location and are mostly common sense but it is useful to reiterate these to ensure there is no doubt. This may include statements relating to or forbidding some or all of the following: 

  • Firearms, stun guns or self-defence weapons (including pepper spray and lasers).
  • Sharp objects and close combat weapons (knives, scissors, axes, tools and chains).
  • Professional audio or video equipment.
  • Narcotics and illegal substances.
  • Pyrotechnics and explosive devices.
  • Flammables and flammable liquids.
  • Drones and unmanned aerial devices.
  • Do not light fires or barbecues on the festival site.
  • Do not damage festival infrastructure and the natural environment of the festival site.
  • The right to decline or forbid entrance into the festival site or campsite to any person behaving in a manner or carrying items that may in any way endanger the safety of the visitors or violate rules of peaceful conduct.
  • Under aged and visibly intoxicated individuals will not be served alcoholic drinks.
  • Visitors agree to be photographed, filmed or recorded as part of the audience may be used in promotional materials for the festival without any limitations 

Advisory Notes. 
It is always helpful to provide useful information in an advisory capacity to visitors and this may include any of the following for example: 

  • Loud music may damage hearing. use of safety earplugs is advised.
  • Strobe lights, flashing lights and lasers may be used during some live performances which may be harmful to people with photosensitive epilepsy.
  • All visitors and their belongings will be inspected for their personal safety.
  • Campers are required to maintain order and cleanliness of the camping area.
  • Visitors are required to leave the festival site in the same condition as found before their arrival.
  • Campers are required to respect public order and peace in the camp.
  • The Organiser has the right to ban entry to any visitor that could potentially endanger the safety of other visitors or cause problems. 

Absolving Responsibility. 
Many music festival organisers like to state what they cannot be held responsible for and usually relates to the terms and conditions of entry and is a way of limiting their liability should a visitor wish to take legal action. This typically would include the following:  

  • The Organiser reserves the right to curtail or cancel the entire festival in case an unexpected force majeure event that threatens the safety of visitors and/or public order on the festival site.
  • The festival organisation reserves to right to make changes to the festival schedule and programme.
  • The festival is not responsible for lost or stolen belongings.
  • Visitors park their vehicles at their own risk.
  • Participation at the festival is at the visitor's own risk. The Organiser is not liable for any damages, by whatever name, suffered by a visitor as a result of the participation.
  • Refunds are not possible in the case of cancellation or curtailment of parts of the festival event due to force majeure such as: extreme weather conditions, fire, death or illness of a performing artist or their immediate family, delays or closure of traffic routes  

Site Staff and Volunteers. 
It is essential that festival staff and volunteers are made fully aware of the festival rules to ensure that they are implemented on-site. This will form part of their training and there should be full understanding of the rules relating to forbidden items and activities and how to handle visitors in breach of these.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. 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. 

Photo by Rahul Pandit via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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