Listen up: Here’s what your rights are with security at a festival

Know what security can and can’t do

As festival season is among us, it is important for you to know your rights as an attendee.

Some festivals have recently come under fire for disorganisation and lack of security, leading to people to question just what your rights are, security guards do not have the same powers as police officers. Here’s what your rights are with security at a festival:

If you are prosecuted for a drugs offence, you will get a criminal record

You can get a fine or prison sentence if you carry, take, make or sell drugs. Selling drugs also includes sharing, which according to the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, counts as intent to supply. As a result, if you are caught with drugs at a festival, the consequences are severe. If you buy drugs on behalf of your friends, you will technically be classed as a supplier or a drug dealer, for which a prison sentence is possible.

Can security search me?

Security guards at festivals can search you, however you must consent to this. Many festivals require you to give consent to being searched as a condition of entry. If you refuse to consent to a search they reserve the right to not let you into the festival. Security guards do not have the power to perform a strip search.

Police officers are legally able to stop and search you. They are only able to do so if there is “reasonable grounds” to do so, but if they remove more than your jacket and gloves, they must be the same sex as you.

Can I be refused entry?

If you refuse to present an ID to determine that your age is in line with the regulations of the festival, you do not comply with festival rules or you do not consent to being searched, you can be refused entry to the event or asked to leave.

Can security guards physically detain me?

Security guards are able to use a “reasonable degree of force” to detain or eject you from a venue. They are not able to discriminate or use excessive force against you for reason such as your race, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.

Can security guards arrest me?

A security guard at a festival can citizens arrest you, and hold you until the police come. However, your nan can also citizens arrest you , so this is not a big deal.

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