Parents concerned at teen rave

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 08:45 24/06/2014

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Organisers of a teenage rave in Blenheim next week have reassured concerned parents that party-goers will be safe.

Parents, police and event security met last week to discuss Pro Fresh Neon Blackout, a dance party for teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years old.

More than 380 teenagers are expected to attend the drug and alcohol-free event at Clubs of Marlborough on Alfred St, Blenheim, on Thursday next week.

Blenheim mother Jo Lane said she was worried about how organisers and security staff would make sure the event was kept drug and alcohol free.

Three of her children, aged between 14 and 17, wanted to attend the rave, which was the first of its kind to be held in Blenheim.

"I needed to make sure it was safe for all youths in regards to being an alcohol and drug-free event, and also in the event of an emergency, that our kids would get out alive," she said.

Organisers assured Lane all bags would be searched and anyone who had noticeably consumed alcohol would not be allowed into the event. Two people would be monitoring the fire alarms, while five security guards would be at the venue keeping an eye on the party-goers.

Lane and five other youth workers would also be at the rave, she said.

Co-organiser Jaymz MacKenzie-Hooper said they had run six similar events in Hamilton without any problem.

"It's just giving kids the nightclub experience, somewhere safe for them to go, where there's no drinking," he said. "It's something fun for them to do."

MacKenzie-Hooper had been involved with about 10 events and said only three people had been turned away at the door because they were too drunk.

Marlborough Youth Trust youth worker Paul Humphreys, who was made aware of the issue by Lane, said the word "rave" conjured up a certain image. "People have this stereotype in their head, of illegal drugs, alcohol," he said.

"It seems as though they've [organisers] got their ducks in a row though."

The event, which was also running in Christchurch and Hamilton, had almost sold out in Blenheim, with just 22 tickets left online yesterday.

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- The Marlborough Express

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