Parents warned about teenagers attending ‘Longitude house parties’ this weekend 1 month ago

Parents warned about teenagers attending ‘Longitude house parties’ this weekend

House parties are reportedly being planned to mark the weekend Longitude 2020 is supposed to have taken place.

Parents of teenagers have been warned to caution against teenagers attending ‘Longitude house parties’ that have reportedly been planned for this weekend, when the 2020 edition of the festival was due to take place.

Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, The Creator, AJ Tracey and A$AP Rocky were amongst the headliners pencilled in for the event in Marlay Park in Dublin this weekend (3-5 July), but it was cancelled in April following the government’s decision to ban all licensed events with a capacity of over 5,000 people.

Drinkaware, the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse in Ireland, said they are aware of reports of planned ‘Longitude house parties’ this weekend, and in response, they are urging parents to stay vigilant and caution their teenagers against attending them or any such events in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

This week, Mayor of Waterford Damien Geoghegan described as "grossly irresponsible" the actions of dozens of people seen attending a house party in Waterford in footage that was circulated widely on social media.

The appeal from Drinkaware follows recent concerns expressed by Dr. Tony Holohan, who stepped aside as Chief Medical Officer on Thursday, about a worrying trend in the number of new cases of Covid-19 among younger people in Ireland.

Research conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes in the 30-day period prior to 24 April 2020, meanwhile, found that 82% of under-25s cited social reasons as motivations for their drinking during lockdown compared to the national average of 49%.

Drinkaware CEO, Sheena Horgan, said: “As we’re hearing about potential ‘Longitude house parties’ taking place this weekend, we urge parents to stay vigilant and if they hear about an event, to caution against attending and share the information with other parents so they can make informed decisions.

“Teenagers and younger people have experienced an unsettled time of late, particularly those in state exam years. This has led to a rise in stress and anxiety. At 82%, our data clearly tells us that 18-24-year-olds overwhelmingly associated drinking with being social. So, there is a concern that some may see easing restrictions as a time to gather among friends in large groups to reconnect and that alcohol misuse may occur.

“Young people have to date played their part in slowing the spread of Covid-19 in our communities by doing something that feels unusual and against natural instincts to socialise. But now really isn’t the time to reverse all the sacrifice made over the past three months.

“We encourage parents to speak openly with their children to find out if they have been invited to a house party or large gathering and discuss the reasons why now is the time to hold firm. Let’s stay the course, follow HSE guidance and look forward to the day when we can come together safely.”