Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
The joint age-verification initiative by Smirnoff Dream Weekend and Appleton Temptation Isle (ATI) was successful during the six-day party series in Negril, Westmoreland, as organisers clamped down on underage patrons attending the events.
Patrons, as well as media personnel, were asked to produce one of three national identification cards (passport, voter's ID, or driver's licence) at both the Dream Weekend and ATI redemption centres before receiving an 'I Am Legal' armband.
This new age-verification system by alcohol giants Red Stripe and J. Wray & Nephew was aimed at restricting consumption of alcohol by minors, and at ensuring that only adults attended the events.
"When persons went to purchase a ticket or tickets at the outlets, they had to show a valid ID, and the ticket would only be issued if they were 18 years and over. The tickets, by themselves, could not gain anyone entry into the events," said Red Stripe's head of marketing, Jomo Cato.
Eager partygoers made no fuss with the new system as they seemed more anxious to get their season party armbands and get on with attending the events.
Dream Weekend patron Angella Smith welcomed the initiative.
"It helps to prevent children from participating, and drinking at these events. These parties are not places for children to be in and so this new age verification thing is great."
Cato also stressed that those who had already bought tickets and were under age 18 had to take responsibility for loss on that purchase as they were not allowed to redeem an armband or have access to the venues, which was non-transferable.
He explained that all commu-nication about the events informed persons that they must be 18 or older. This move is in keeping with the law that permits them to only serve alcohol to adults.