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The lesser-known laws to know this festival season according to a legal expert

Summer invites in festival season across the UK, with millions preparing to see their favourite acts. While festivals often bring with them the common crimes linked to drink and drugs, there are also some lesser-known laws that could catch people out this summer.

As revellers gear up for one of the biggest festivals of the year, Aruna Verma, Associate Professor and Campus Dean at The University of Law (ULaw) has warned Glastonbury audiences to avoid these common festival habits, or risk landing themselves in serious legal hot water.

Recording artists’ sets

Filming artists during their sets is a hotly debated topic in the music world, with several acts calling out audience members and even stopping shows until the recording has stopped. It’s commonplace now to see thousands of smartphones recording their favourite act, however, it’s important to note that there can be legal implications for this.

Recording an artist and distributing the content without their prior consent is a breach of copyright law under The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 1996 . Keeping the video purely for domestic and personal use isn’t likely to cause any issues, however, sharing the content anywhere – including social media – could soon land you in trouble with the law.

The most likely outcome is that an artist’s team will demand you remove the video from wherever it has been shared. But be careful, as the artist also has the “right to equitable remuneration for exploitation of sound recording”, which means they could demand payment, especially if your video has been used for commercial purposes.

Taking payment from car passengers

While transporting others to the festival may seem like a good deed at the time, tread very carefully with this if you are taking payments.

Taking contributions towards fuel and running costs is generally acceptable, however the issue arises if you are found to be making a profit from your passengers. Unless you hold a valid taxi or private hire license, then you are strictly not allowed to make a profit from giving out lifts.

Those found to be guilty of driving an unlicensed taxi face fines of up to £2,500, as well as having their insurance immediately invalidated. The latter then raises problems associated with driving with no insurance, which range from penalty points on your license to a total driving ban.

Sleeping in your car under the influence

After a few long and uncomfortable nights in a tent it could be tempting to get some shut eye in the back of your car. While this may seem harmless, it really isn’t a wise move and could land you in serious legal trouble.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, anyone can be found guilty if they are “in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place” while under the influencer of drugs or alcohol. Those who are caught and found guilty could face fines up £2,500, a disqualification from driving and even up to three months in prison.

Aruna continues: “When the sun is shining, drinks are flowing and your favourite artists are on stage, it can be all too easy to get carried away at a festival. However, those who aren’t careful can soon find themselves on the wrong side of the law, which is a sure-fire way to bump back down to earth after the festival is over.

“There’s no need to worry to the point that you don’t have fun, simply enjoy the festival responsibly. However, hopefully highlighting these lesser-known laws will help you avoid any unnecessary post-festival stress”

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