Why not just close bar for evening?

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

I HAVE just read the ar­ti­cle on Ash­ford Rocks (Fe­bru­ary 22). If 80 per cent of the peo­ple at­tend­ing are un­der 18, why not bar the sale of al­co­hol for the evening? I am sure that the older mem­bers at­tend­ing would un­der­stand if the al­ter­na­tive is to stop. Teenagers need some­where to go and they are ob­vi­ously keen on sup­port­ing the event. Ge­orge Ish­er­wood, Ken­ning­ton.

I AM a 17-year-old who has only re­cently found out the fact that un­der-16s are no longer per­mit­ted at the Home­lands gigs. Un­like most of the re­sponses that I have read in the pa­per, I am re­ally in favour of this. It means that those of us who are old enough to go but dis­like spend­ing an evening sur­rounded by chil­dren can fi­nally start go­ing again. The main ar­gu­ment that seems to have been put for­ward is that the vast ma­jor­ity of Home­lands go­ing peo­ple fall into the un­der-16 cat­e­gory. This may well be the case but not nearly to the ex­tent that has been claimed. The prob­lem is that when you ar­rive at Home­lands, you are met by the sight of young teens run­ning about, smok­ing, drink­ing and throw­ing ver­bal abuse at each other. In my opin­ion there is noth­ing en­cour­ag­ing about watch­ing a 13-year-old puff­ing on a cig­a­rette and, if any­thing, this forces the 16s and older away. The gigs will not shut down if un­der-16s are kept away but in­stead should cause more over-16s to start go­ing. Fur­ther­more, if the un­der­16s still want to go, they still can, just in the com­pany of an adult. If they are com­plain­ing be­cause of that, doesn’t it rather show that they weren’t be­hav­ing in an ac­cept­able way in the first place? Ross Owens, by e-mail.

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