Yesterday, the House of Commons voted to accept an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill which would ban the possession and use of dangerous pyrotechnics such as flares, fireworks and smoke bombs by audience members at live music concerts and festivals.
Nigel Adams MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music, had originally proposed this change to bring the law on use of such articles in line with the law at football matches, where they are already outlawed. While incidents at football grounds were in the single digits annually, incidents at music events (often resulting in injury) were in the hundreds.
Nigel said: “Music fans absolutely deserve the same protection that football fans do. I am instinctively in favour of allowing people to choose to take risks, but when someone sets off a hot, dangerous flare or firework in a packed crowd, those other audience members haven’t chosen to take that risk – and often end up injured. Since banning these articles has proven to help at football grounds, it’s very welcome that we’ll extend this to concerts and festivals – something bands and venue managers overwhelmingly support.”
Following his introduction of the proposal via a Ten Minute Rule Motion in the House of Commons, Nigel worked with Ministers to refine the law, which was ultimately added to the Bill during its passage through the House of Lords. It will therefore become law upon Royal Assent, following the completion of consideration of other amendments between the Lords and Commons. This is expected to be completed within the next couple of months.
The provision specifically makes exemption for instances where event organisers permit attendees to carry and use pyrotechnics, to ensure that the law will not hamper community events where fireworks may be part of the tradition. It also only applies to attendees – musicians and concert organisers who wish to use pyrotechnics as part of their planned acts, in accordance with proper safety procedures, can continue to do so as at present.