Nigel Adams, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Music, today presented a Ten Minute Rule Motion in the House of Commons proposing to ban the carrying or use of flares, fireworks and smoke bombs by audience members at live music events and festivals.
While such articles have been banned at football grounds since 1985 (under the Control of Dangerous Articles Act), music fans are not currently afforded the same protection – meaning that while there were 255 incidents involving these articles at music events in 2014, there were only 3 at football grounds in the same time period.
Speaking about the motion, Mr Adams said:
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to bring this issue before the House. Many people I talk to are stunned to find out that carrying and deploying flares and fireworks in the crowd at a live music event is not banned – unlike at football matches, where spectators can count on the protection of the law. This measure has support across the board: from fans wanting to focus on the music, performers wanting to put on a good uninterrupted show, and organisers wanting to provide a safe event – as well as from MPs right across the House. It’s time we make the law on these dangerous articles consistent at both music and sporting events.”
Flares and fireworks burn at between 1500 and 2000 degrees Celsius, and can cause severe injuries. Currently, while those under 18 are banned from using fireworks on public property, most music events occur on private property, and adults are not banned from their use unless it can be proven that there was intent to cause harm. Flares are not covered by firework regulations because they are not designed for entertainment. This Motion does not seek to change the current rules allowing artists and organisers to use pyrotechnics in their shows – only to prevent them being carried or used by audience members.
You can watch Nigel’s entire speech and presentation of the Bill here.