Sep 19 2012 by Sandy Kilpatrick, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
THE FUTURE of a free music festival is under review after it was gatecrashed by drunken teens.
Police stopped a considerable number of youngsters who turned up at Youth Beatz carrying alcohol.
But furious parents reported drunk teenagers staggering around and others openly downing vodka in the audience at the Dock Park on Saturday.
After the event the Youth Beatz Facebook page had to be shut down when it descended into cross-border vitriol between people from Dumfries and Carlisle.
Now a councillor has blamed a flaw in security for the problems at the festival which featured pop stars Alexandra Burke and Tinchy Stryder.
Andrew Wood said: This has been a bit of an embarrassment for Dumfries.
There appears to have been a flaw in the security if youngsters were getting in through the gate and not being searched and taking alcohol into the event.
People from all over are coming now. It does appear that some of the trouble-makers came to Dumfries from elsewhere but we dont want our local youngsters to be blighted by what went on.
He added: Dumfries and Galloway Council stated that only one per cent of festival-goers were involved in any trouble at the Dock Park and around the town on Saturday night. One per cent of 12,000 is 120 people.
It appears there werent enough police on the ground.
I honestly believe this should not have been a freebie. Some children were seriously under the influence.
If it does go ahead next year, there will have to be a serious review of what happened this time.
Nithsdale area committee gave the event s35,000 in funding and I dont want to be financing a battleground.
Furious parents hit out on the police Facebook page in the wake of the festival.
One irate mother said: It was supposed to be an alcohol-free event. This was obviously not the case. There were drunk teenagers stotting about all over the place and the stewards were obviously turning a blind eye.
Another parent added: I lost count of the number of kids I heard freely talking about downing vodka. Hopefully lessons will be learnt for next year before Youth Beatz gets a bad reputation.
A council spokeswoman said: Youth Beatz is widely advertised as an alcohol-free event and it is disappointing that a small number of those attending were intent on breaking this rule.
The security ratios applied to Youth Beatz far exceed those recommended by the Health and Safety Executive.
However it is accepted that a small minority have caused a level of disruption.
She added: There will be a full review of all aspects of the event by the services involved in organising the event and any lessons learned will be taken on board in the planning of future events.
Any decision on the future format and charging policy for Youth Beatz will be subject to a report to be presented to Nithsdale area committee later this year.
Planning has already begun in principle for a 2013 event and some external funders have already committed funding to the event for 2013.
Inspector Stuart Burns, of the community policing department, added: A considerable number of teens were stopped for carrying alcohol and a few were arrested for breach of the peace.
There were a few incidents of disorder but it needs to be kept in perspective.
This is a really good event for Dumfries but it has had a different make-up of people this year with more teenagers from outwith the region.