JOANNE O'RIORDAN: Us teens need our very own music festival

WITH the release of the line-ups for Oxegen and Electric Picnic, the big headache for promoters is how to keep out the under-18s.

With teenagers ‘crashing all events and festivals’ and fake IDs being used more frequently, it’s quite hard to keep these events to the over 18 age limit. But here’s a solution: why don’t MCD or Aiken create a festival for teenagers?

In England festivals are pretty great, from Love Luton to the iTunes Festival, to the Wireless Festival. No wonder England can have the adults’ and youngsters’ festivals separate. If I was living in England I’d be delighted every summer. I could finally get into a festival, without any hassle, without any ‘ID required’.

However, in Ireland, I can only go to arenas and concerts. And, of course, if anything bad happens, the teenagers are immediately blamed.

Looking at the Oxegen line-up. I can see why anyone would try and sneak in.

With David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Pitbull being the big international names — for me anyway — and the Coronas and Ryan Sheridan being my personal Irish favourites, how could I resists? I can’t imagine too many people in their 20s and 30s going to see these acts. Every adult I come across seems to be giving out about it.

‘It is a rock ‘n’ roll festival, not a dance party’ is the most common moan from most of them. But will teens get in? What if the Phoenix Park incident happens again, because some overly-drunk fools decided to destroy everyone’s fun? Are all teenagers going to be blamed?

Well, maybe these ‘incidents’ won’t happen if promoters acknowledge that young people need festivals too. Someday I hope to go off to London, Leeds, or wherever, to finally get the festival experience.

I know well that my mother won’t have me heading off to the UK to see David Guetta or Calvin Harris, so I’ve just have to chill at home and watch it from the couch.

So I say to all the promoters, try an ‘Electric Picnic for Teens’, try an ‘Oxegen for Teens’.

It could end up being the most exciting — and maybe even most profitable — thing you will ever do.

Ireland definitely has enough venues, and we definitely have the weather to get covered in muck!

Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, my niece will be able to experience all the fun of a rock or dance festival, and hopefully it will be a lot sooner for her than it was for me.


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