How old do you have to be to attend Leeds and Reading Festival? Age restrictions for festivals in 2024

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The festivals will return this month in the north and south

Reading and Leeds Festival has once again provided a weekend of spectacular music over the August bank holiday.

The dual festivals took place across the north and south of England over the last few days. Both ran from Friday (25 August) to Sunday (27 August).

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If you are thinking of going next year - you might need to check if there are any age restrictions.

Here is all you need to know:

What are the age restrictions for the festivals?

On its website, Reading Festival says: “We welcome all ages to the festival. However, there are entry restrictions for under 16s and we do advise not bringing young children.

“Anyone 15 and under must be accompanied by a ticket holder over 18 years old at all times. Children under 13 years are admitted free. ID may be required upon entry to the event.

“Please bring ID if you look under 21 years old and remember that legally there is no automatic right to be served alcohol.

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“Service is always at the discretion of the licensee for whatever reason they decide, and the licensee is under no obligation to explain the reason.”

A music fan soaks up the atmosphere at Reading Festival.  (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)A music fan soaks up the atmosphere at Reading Festival.  (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
A music fan soaks up the atmosphere at Reading Festival. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Leeds Festival has the same policy, requiring under 15s to be accompanied by a ticket holder over 18 years old.

On its website it writes: “We do not accept any parental or supervisory duty of care or liability for any under 18’s on site.”

Discussing the need for ID, Leeds Festival said: “Please bring the original document as you won’t be able to use a photocopied version.

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“If you don’t have any of these, or don’t want to lose valuable documents on site, we suggest that you apply for a PASS approved ID, some of which are free to get.”

Why do festivals have Age Restrictions?

Reading and Leeds Festival is not the only one with age restrictions - especially requiring 18+ guardians for children under the age of 16.

But why is this the case?

Spinditty explains: “Festivals and concerts usually require the attendee to be at least 18 years old because, at this point, they are all legally allowed to make their own decisions without parental consent.

“Anything they choose to do at the concert will be their own responsibility and nobody else’s.

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“It’s smart from a company’s perspective because they avoid the possibility of someone underage getting hurt in any way, in which case a parent or guardian would have to be contacted which may, in turn, result in legal troubles.”

Are Leeds and Reading Festival the same?

Both of the festivals take place at the same time between Friday 26 August and Sunday 28 August and there are many similarities between the two festivals - but they are not quite the same.

Among the differences are the locations of the festivals.

Anyone who has attended both festivals will know that there is a big difference between the sites at Reading and Leeds.

The Reading site is Richfield Avenue which is situated in the centre of the town. Reading Festival is relatively easy to travel to by train or bus as it is based on the doorstep of the town centre.

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Leeds Festival is held at Bramham Park which is 10 miles away from Leeds city centre. To get to Bramham Park, festival goers would have to get a 30 minute bus to the festival, so there is no possibility of heading to a pub or restaurant for dinner during the festival.

The other big difference is the curfew times. At Reading Festival there is usually a curfew in the later hours of the evening for loud music to not disturb the locals.

Whereas at Leeds fest you can expect to hear DJs or smaller stages playing music into the early hours of the morning with sets going on until 6am.

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