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Pyrotechnic ban comes into force in UK

It is now a criminal offence for fans (but not artists and promoters) to possess flares or fireworks at festivals and shows in the UK

By IQ on 04 Apr 2017

Flare, pyrotechnics, Leeds Festival 2011, Braden Fletcher

A flare at Leeds Festival 2011. Leeds promoter Melvin Benn was among those campaigning for a ban

image © Braden Fletcher

Possessing fireworks, flares or other pyrotechnics at music festivals and concerts is now illegal in Britain.

The Policing and Crime Bill 2017, which comes into force today, includes a section prohibiting the “possession of pyrotechnic articles at musical events”, a measure long campaigned for by the UK live music industry.

A “pyrotechnic article” is defined as “an article that contains explosive substances, or an explosive mixture of substances, designed to produce heat, light, sound, gas or smoke, or a combination of such effects, through self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions”, with the notable exception of matches.

The maximum sentence for violation of the new law, which brings live music in line with a similar ban at sporting events, is 51 weeks in prison. Artists and event promoters are excepted.


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