Can I Vape at a Festival?
By Elina Panayotova
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It’s been illegal to smoke in an enclosed public place in the UK since 2007 when the indoor smoking ban came in, but what about at festivals and similar events?
When it comes to outdoor festivals, it tends to be up to the event organisers, so rules can differ from festival to festival. However, many events do allow vaping, while smoking is also usually permitted, in at least some capacity. It’s best to check beforehand to avoid disappointment. In general, festivals don’t have explicit rules around vaping, but you can expect the guidelines to be similar to their rules surrounding smoking. For example, vaping out in the open might be allowed, but not in enclosed public spaces.
It’s worth looking at the regulations set out by some of the biggest UK festivals for a little more clarity on whether vaping at festivals is allowed:
Reading and Leeds Festival
At Reading and Leeds, festival-goers can bring cigarettes for personal use into both the campsite and arenas, while e-cigarettes are also allowed. However, the most recent terms and conditions1 state that smoking – including the use of e-cigarettes and vaping – is not permitted in enclosed public spaces or buildings, including big top arenas.
At Glastonbury2, terms and conditions state that smoking is not permitted in enclosed public areas, including the accommodation and facilities at Worthy View and Sticklinch, the festival’s two pre-erected campsites. When it comes to vaping at Glastonbury3, it’s permitted, but again, you must not vape in an enclosed public space at the festival.
What about Download, the UK’s premier rock and metal event? At Download, smoking isn’t allowed4 in public spaces or buildings – including arenas. This includes the use of e-cigarettes and vapes.
The rules at Creamfields are much the same as elsewhere, with smoking and the use of e-cigarettes and vapes not being permitted in enclosed public areas and buildings – including big top arenas – as set out in the festival’s terms and conditions5.
Isle of Wight Festival
In the Isle of Wight Festival, there are certain non-smoking areas such as the viewing platforms. The Rescue Service has in the past, sent out a message advising attendees not to smoke inside their tents. These are no-smoking areas – encompassing the use of e-cigarettes and vapes too.
As can be seen from the above examples, major festivals tend to have broadly similar rules in place around both smoking and the use of e-cigarettes and vapes. So again, avoid using cigarettes or any other devices in enclosed public spaces, and you’re unlikely to encounter too many issues.
Some festivals have introduced specific areas for smoking and vaping rather than allowing guests to smoke and vape wherever they like on the site. Still, this can differ from festival to festival. Remember, this article is just a guide – you should always check with the festival’s official website/materials to avoid issues during the event.
For more to keep in mind about vaping at a festival, read on.
Things to remember for Vaping at a Festival
First things first, if you are planning to vape at a festival, you should consider how long you’re going to be there. Make sure you take enough e-liquid to last – while festivals often have many stalls selling different items, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find any e-liquids for sale or that you’ll like the e-liquids on offer.
Of course, your vape can run out of power too. This is a very real possibility throughout the weekend. A lot of festivals offer charging points where you can charge smartphones, vapes and other small devices, but there can be lengthy queues, and some might charge a small fee. Not only that, but most people wouldn’t want to spend a large chunk of their festival time hanging around waiting for your vape to charge, only to miss out on some of the great experiences the festival has to offer.
It makes sense to take one or two spare batteries or a portable charger to save you from wasting time charging or standing in a queue. It’s also advised to bring a cleaning kit, just in case. Festivals aren’t necessarily known for cleanliness – particularly when there’s a lot of rain and mud, so make sure your vape stays dry.
However, despite vaping at festivals bringing a couple of challenges, it’s more affordable6 than smoking cigarettes.
While vaping at festivals is generally permitted, you want to have a good time, right? So it’s worth bearing in mind some basic vaping etiquette to make sure that everyone has fun, vapers and non-vapers alike.
You won’t be the only vaper there, and particularly if there are designated vaping areas, you’re sure to meet others in the same boat. However, at a festival with less specific regulation regarding vaping , it’s best to consider other people first.
In addition, be sure to abide by the rules – everyone wants to enjoy themselves at a festival, so be courteous to others when you vape and comply with the rules.
After reading this guide, you should have a better idea of how and where to vape at festivals. Are you interested in trying out a device that’s easier to keep in your pocket? Take a look at our guide on finding smaller devices.