Following the reports FACUA filed against a number of festivals, O Son do Camiño will finally allow entry with food

The event, however, will continue denying entry with any drink, arguing that it is for "the safety of minors", "to control access to alcoholic drinks".

Following the reports FACUA filed against a number of festivals, O Son do Camiño will finally allow entry with food

Following several reports made by FACUA-Consumers in Action in the last few weeks against festivals for denying entry with food and drink, O Son do Camiño, which is celebrated on the 13, 14 and 15 of June in Santiago de Compostela, have eliminated said clause and will finally allow entry with food. The association had reported the promoter of the event, UTE Esmerarte and Old Navy, to the Galician Institute of Consumption for this reason.

Originally, the festival's website stated the prohibition of entry with food and drinks from outside the venue in their FAQs segment. A few days ago, however, said condition had disappeared, although it is not clear enough whether such access was authorised. So FACUA decided to contact O Son do Camiño to clarify if they would allow entry with food.

In its response to the association, the event confirmed that "indeed, food is allowed to be brought in from the outside" and that they had "free water points in various locations within the venue", but that they still denied entry with drinks because "as well as not being able to guarantee the origin and safety of the drinks that could be introduced from the outside, there will be minors among the crowd (duly identified to control and prevent their access to alcoholic beverages) and thinking about their safety we decided to establish this prohibition".

The association considers the festival's change of view to be insufficient and considers that it is still not complying with the legislation by not allowing drinks to enter. Moreover, it discloses that the reason given for preventing access for the safety of minors is invalid. If they really wanted to prevent this, it would suffice to control that minors do not bring alcoholic drinks with them as they enter the festival site, preventing a posteriori that establishments in the interior sell these products to them.

Thus, FACUA advises users who go to O Son do Camiño and are denied entry due to bringing drinks from the outside to request the corresponding complaints form and report to the consumer authorities.

What the regulations say

Thus, FACUA recalls once again that the revised text of the General Law for the Defence of Consumers and Users considers not allowing entry with food or drink from outside a venue to be an abusive clause according to article 82.1, which establishes as such all those practices that cause "a significant imbalance of the rights and obligations of the parties that derive from the contract".

The association also notes that the Commission for Consumer Cooperation established in their consultation (number 5) of the year 2000 that "the clauses in which consumers are imposed limitations on the acquisition of products without being based on objective circumstances, should be considered abusive".

Similarly, a ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla-La Mancha on the prohibition of entering theatres with food and drink, says that "it is unreasonable to understand the limitation of the consumer's choice" and that "if the possibility of accessing the room in question is limited depending on the origin of the products and only those acquired within the venue can be consumed, it is indirectly forcing the use of services that in principle have not been requested but are forced to seek from the company itself".

In addition, the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (Spanish acronym Aecosan) published in 2016 a report, also related to the prohibition in cinemas, in which it concluded that there was an "abusive clause" since the consumer "is deprived of the main benefit, unjustifiably, having paid entry, based on a limitation imposed unilaterally on an accessory service that was not requested, and taking into account that the basic activity of the company is not the sale and distribution of food and drink".

Ten festivals reported by FACUA in 2019

Including O Son do Camiño, a new total of ten festivals have been reported by FACUA and its territorial organisations in 2019 for the same reasons. These last few weeks, reports have been filed against the organisers of Interestelar Sevilla, Madrid's Tomavistas, Iruña Rock Festival, Alicante's Spring Festival, Palencia Sonora, Valencia's Festival de Les Arts, Viscaya's BBK Music Legends Fest, and Paraíso Festival, as well as demanding Cordoba's town council allow entry with food from outside the venue for Rosalía's concert on the 15th. The reports have been presented to the respective autonomous authorities of consumption.