Depending on how lenient your parents were, it's very possible that aged 15, and/or 16, and/or 17, you and your friends decided to "do a festival," and you probably had the time of your young lives – mild smoke inhalation from the bonfire you made out of beer cases and an actual tent, no showers, no parents, no rules. Living the dream, am I right?!
And probably, if you're from the UK anyway, the festival you "did" (for you always "do" a festival, you never just "go to" one) was one of three: it was V Festival, or Reading and Leeds Festival, or T in the Park. These were the fests to which the teens once flocked.
But, as of late last year, one of that list may potentially be no more: back in November, T in the Park's organisers announced that they'd be cancelling the Scottish event for 2017 (replaced temporarily by TRSMT festival on Glasgow Green, which will play host to Radiohead, Belle and Sebastian, The 1975 and more), in order to "take stock" after a series of deaths at the event and a forced site relocation.
And yesterday, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, T in the Park boss Geoff Ellis noted that "what we have seen in recent years is more 16 and 17-year-olds going a bit crazy", announcing that the festival would "make the campsite over 18 going forward". Up to this point, punters aged below 16 would need to be accompanied by someone who was at least 21.
This means that if T does return, it'll probably be quite a different place. Ellis suggested that the next edition of the festival will switch out electronic music for rock bands (potentially in an attempt to curb drug-related injuries), and with the new age restrictions, there'll be fewer energetic teenagers running around the place doing things that would be classed criminal damage in literally any other situation, and snogging each other.
And though the measures are hoped to improve safety, they also feels like a blow to the spirit of festivals. WHERE WILL THE TEENS GO NOW?? The ritual of roping an older friend – or a friend's older sibling – into being your over-16 chaperone are over for this lot. Once the festival rebrands as a "boutique" experience with craft beer, high-end street food and a massage parlour, the transformation into comfortably non-lairy will be complete. But hey, we're not quite there yet.
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(Image via Wikimedia Commons)