Case 235 - Christmas craft fair entry fee
The enquirer was told that an entry fee charged for a Christmas craft fair was necessary in order to control the number of people attending, essential on health and safety grounds. The organiser went onto say that, if these controls were not in place at the event, there would be a severe risk of overcrowding and they probably would not be able to go ahead with the event.
Whilst the panel can understand why the organisers need to control numbers of people attending this event, using health and safety as the reason for charging people to gain entry to the event is wrong. A practical way to control visitor numbers is to issue tickets for entry but the decision to charge for the tickets is a commercial decision (which the organisers are free to make) not a safety factor. Rather than blame the entry fee on health and safety, it would have been more helpful if the organisers had explained that the ticket costs were simply to cover the cost of staging the event and managing visitor numbers.