As is often the case these days, I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to balancing the protective side of me wanting to keep my kids safe versus allowing my kids a bit of freedom to grow up and spread their wings a little.

Yesterday I allowed my fifteen-year-old daughter to attend a music festival for teenagers 12 to 17 years of age. The stereotypical image of music festivals being an open slather for drugs and alcohol crossed my mind, but as it was aimed at teenagers who had to show photo ID confirming their age, I was confident there would be no alcohol for sale and also hopeful that screening at the gates would minimize any exposure to drugs.

The ‘Good Life’ festival has previously been run well, with designated buses to take the teenagers from central station to the venue and in reverse for the return trip. The only issue yesterday was that the mother of all storms hit mid afternoon which led to the organisers cancelling the festival mid way through.

No buses were available to ferry the kids back to the train station (5kms away) so the kids were ejected from the venue in a ferocious storm to try to find their way home.

I fully understand the festival organisers decision to cancel the concert due to the storm, however I’m really disappointed that a day that was designed to be a safe, fun day out for teenagers, left them in the precarious situation of being stranded in the middle of town with no transport options in the middle of the storm that was so severe it led to the cancellation of the concert.

Thankfully my daughter’s friend’s father rang a friend who lived locally to collect them from the venue and drop them at the train station, but thousands of other kids were left to their own devices.

When I collected my daughter from the train station, she said that the day was far from living the ‘good life’ and that it had been the worst day of her life. I tried to console my daughter by saying that sometimes the worst events become the most memorable stories.

If I’d known there was the possibility that my daughter would be stranded in town, I would never have agreed to let her attend, but then again, I guess a part of growing up is finding yourself in unexpected situations and then working out a solution. I’m just grateful that she arrived home safely, albeit cold, wet and tired from her ‘Good Life’ experience. If nothing else, at least she gained some good life experience!

(Picture courtesy of Stuart Miles,