Safer Festivals

Download the 2018 KY Youth-Led Project Guide to Safer Community Festivals


Youth meet with community leaders to implement alcohol policies at community festivals.


To reduce the availability of alcohol to youth under 21 and provide a safer environment for festival attendees.


4-6 hours prep time, 10-12 hours to implement


  • Tip Sheet for Safer Alcohol Sales and Services at Community Events
  • Flyer: Why Festival Alcohol Policies Need to be Changed
  • Festival Planner Checklist


  1. Work with your local Regional Prevention Center and State Alcohol PES to gather information on related alcohol policies, and underage drinking data.  Assess your local data to determine if alcohol access and prevalence are high in comparison to your county, region or state, and in comparison to other illicit drugs; and/or rates are increasing over time.
  2. Talk to law enforcement, and ER staff to get data and input about problems they have witnessed or experienced at community events involving alcohol.
  3. Appoint a youth project manager.
  4. Obtain a schedule of local festivals in/around your community, and gather the name and contact information for those on the planning committee/s.  
  5. Determine whether alcohol is sold during these events by contacting your local ABC Administrator and checking the wet/dry status of your community, and if so, what type of alcohol (beer, wine, spirits by-the-drink and/or by-the-package).  If alcohol is sold, research the local and state alcohol policies are in place for the event (local Responsible Beverage Server Training (RBS) Ordinance, limitation on the #packaged alcohol sales per person, etc.).  Compare your list of alcohol policies in place with the attached list, and determine if improvements could be made.
  6. If you determine improvements could be made, have the project manager contact the festival planning committee to schedule a face-to-face meeting with your youth coalition.  Explain your group supports community events, and you want to help the committee provide a safe environment for families and other attendees with some alcohol policy suggestions. 


  1. Meet with the community event organizers, and make a compelling case for changing the way things are done now using the tips below.
    • BE POSITIVE. Do not blame event organizers for past issues.  Instead, communicate your objective is to HELP them host a fun and safe event to benefit your community.
    • Explain alcohol consumption at community events can lead to other disturbances; such as noise complaints, litter, property damage, vandalism, and public urination in surrounding areas; and traffic and parking issues. (See KY Underage Drinking Costs Fact Sheet)
    • Mention alcohol consumption at community events may increase the risk of alcohol-impaired patrons driving after the event.  Having alcohol policies in place like High Visibility Enforcement and RBS Training can reduce this risk.
    • Let them know effective alcohol restrictions at community events can reduce youth access to alcohol and send a CLEAR MESSAGE  consumption of alcohol by underage youth at community events is NOT acceptable. 
  1. Periodically check back with event planners on their progress.
  2. Offer to send a press release on their behalf to local media outlets announcing the “new” alcohol policies at local events.  Show organizers a sample press release, and reinforce this is great, positive public relations to show the value your community places on public safety and for the event.


  1. After the event, meet with festival organizers, law enforcement and other key stakeholders.  Ask festival organizers how they felt the new changes made a difference.  Talk with law enforcement to see if they noticed a difference in DUIs, disturbances, etc.  Document your findings and take them to your local newspaper to include as a feature article.
  2. Send a personalized thank you note those who assisted with your project.

*This project was adapted for use in Kentucky from the 2009 Activities for Change Youth Book.