Should the age limit for festivalgoers be raised to 21?
Readers have been having their say as calls are made to change the rules in the wake of a tragedy which claimed the life of 17-year-old Megan Bell, from Seaham.
The former St Anthony’s Catholic Girls’ Academy student, who was due to become an apprentice hairdresser, was at the T in the Park festival last month when she died.
Her death is not being treated as suspicious and a pathologist is reported to have said it is “presumed drug related”, as have the deaths of two others also linked to the event.
But her family, who are yet to be told the outcome of any tests say she did not use substances and are seeking questions about the circumstances surrounding her death, the care she was given and what security measures were in place on the site.
It was the second time she had been to the festival, after her parents caved to her requests, and she and her friends said they had a good experience in the first year.
I hope family and friends get the answers they’re looking for.Ruth Steckles
But they say the atmosphere during its opening days this year was worrying, with one of Megan’s friends calling her mother to ask for a lift home.
Megan’s dad Chris says his family is in the dark about what happened to her, with claims she had been left on a stretcher for half an hour before she was given medical treatment.
The 44-year-old, who is partner to Lisa Dickinson, 41, and also dad to Josh, 12, Maddy, 10, and Jenny, eight, has launched a petition calling for the age increase.
More than 660 have signed it so far.
Among those to have their say on the issue is Kerry Robinson said: “I think the issue is around the medical care she received on site and that the events given don’t match up.
“I didn’t read this as trying to blame someone, this is a family wanting answers that should be given.”
Cheryl Adamson, also posting on Facebook, said: “It must be hard to say no when all their friends are allowed. I’m dreading this stage.”
Ruth Steckles said: “Sad fact is, we as humans don’t think it will happen to us.
“We don’t look at the bigger picture and true risks, we presume that organisers have everything in hand, so we don’t ask questions until after a tragedy. “Having had a friend die, you’re not looking to blame, but you do want to know every last minute of what went on.
“I have an 18-year-old and I do believe the age limit should be raised.
“Fact, people take risks they wouldn’t normally take when they are under the influence of alcohol or their spirits heightened.
“I hope family and friends get the answers they’re looking for.”
Claire Christie Spencer said: “My 17-year-old begged me to go to here.
“I felt inside that no, although I can trust her she wasn’t old enough to cope with every given situation and although all her friends were allowed to go I stuck to my guns but felt terrible.
“It could so easily have been anyone’s child and there isn’t room for pointing finger here. “I too think the age should be raised to 21, but these parents deserve clarity if nothing else.
“I feel dreadful for these parents it’s a terrible tragedy all round.”
Beverley Taylor said: “To be fair raising the age to 21 unless accompanied by an adult is meaningless.
“It still means a group of 16 and 17-year-olds can go as long as one of their group is 18, and that puts a lot of pressure on that 18-year-old to be the responsible adult. “Age limit should be 21 full stop.”
Chris’s Change petition can be found via http://chn.ge/2aJNQZO