How to sneak my underage daughter into a licensed show
May 22, 2014 7:02 PM   Subscribe

My daughter is 16. We want to go to a licensed concert (Drinking age in Canada is 19). She has a pathetic looking fake ID. Do we have a chance? Strategies we can use? Experiences?
posted by Hash to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Contact the bar owner or manager and ask if he is allowed to make an exception since the parent will be with the minor. Some states in the US do allow this. If he says no, please do not do this. If your daughter sneaks a drink in front of a regulator, the bar can be shut down and/or fined. Also, teaching a minor to use a fake ID seems like a terrible idea. If you are divorced, this choice could cost you your custody rights.
posted by myselfasme at 7:05 PM on May 22, 2014 [24 favorites]

Not the answer you're looking for, but I hope you recognize that if the venue chooses to contact the police, you could be charged with child endangerment.

...but the only chance you have is to contact the venue directly, talk to a manager and ask if they can help you out.

DON'T try to sneak her in.

And fake ID? Why???
posted by kinetic at 7:05 PM on May 22, 2014 [8 favorites]

I attended a show at a venue with my underage cousin, many years ago, when she was 16. She was allowed in because her parents were playing in the band and we did not have any alcohol at the table. She wore a wristband and was introduced to the bartenders before the show started.

The ONLY way you should approach this is through the venue's owners or managers to make your case for an exception and present ideas on preventing them from being fined or yourself for being arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Wristband, no booze for you, away from the bar, asking very nicely.

You're asking for advice on how to commit what may well be a crime in your jurisdiction.
posted by mibo at 7:10 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

I agree with what everyone else said — plus, are you sure you want the message to your kid to be "laws don't apply to you as long as you're sufficiently sneaky"? Find a legal and approved way of getting her in, or don't go.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Do they stamp hands? Because when I was underage, the deal was, of age person gets their hands stamped and the other person licks their hands and pressed it on the back of mine. Instant in.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:01 PM on May 22, 2014

I'll be the voice on the other side of the aisle here (though tbh I have 0 respect for the current institution of the law, so take my words with a grain of salt. I think aged shows are stupid, and mostly just the venue being lazy and trying to get more money by having it full of people who are going to buy alcohol.)

I've never used a fake ID, but I have used the IDs of people who aren't me, and in some cases look nothing like me. This works better than a crappy fake ID. Especially if the IDs in your state have holograms and whatnot. If you do this, have her style her hair in whatever way the picture on the ID is styled. Skin color+hair is pretty much all they look at. (Also, in the vary rare chance you do get caught by law enforcement instead of just getting turned away at the door, you won't have a possession of fictitious records charge. In some states that is a felony, whereas using someone's ID is a misdemeanor). And if you go, don't drink alcohol-either of you. Stay far away from the bar.

And, look, there is a chance, depending on how strict your town is about this stuff, that you could get caught by the law. Raids happen. Mostly in college towns where underage drinking is a big problem. But the people talking about you losing custody, and child endangerment, I feel like that's blowing it way out of proportion. If the town is strict or if you're going to a place where raids happen frequently, the bouncer will probably just turn her away. He wants to avoid trouble just as much as you do. They won't make a big deal, they won't call the cops. Your kid isn't the first kid who really wanted to go to a concert.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:39 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm with the contact the venue crowd. A quick read through the Ontario law (IANAL, IANAC, and IANACL) indicates that a person under 19 cannot enter a premises if they know that not allowing minors to enter is a condition of the license.

So it sounds like it could be either way, depending on the actual practice of the licensing authority.
posted by Mad_Carew at 9:59 PM on May 22, 2014

She needs to get the real ID of a 19-24 year old with the same hair color, skin color and height as her.
posted by amaire at 10:36 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

She needs to get the real ID of a 19-24 year old with the same hair color, skin color and height as her.

This may be her best chance. But be aware, if they decide it's not her, they might confiscate the ID (this is how it happens in the states, anyways). I've known bouncers with drawers filled with real ID's that were confiscated.
posted by el io at 10:49 PM on May 22, 2014

Oh, also, make sure she has any information on the ID fully memorized. She should be able to answer any question about it (while sounding bored).

If you can get a better fake ID, you may want to try this (look for stores that advertise 'Novelty ID'). It can be a good idea to get a 'novelty ID' for a different province than she's in (or a state that's relatively close her her might be a better idea).

If you go the fake ID route, have a back-up plan if she's not allowed in: cab money home, a ride that can come and grab her, etc.

You may also want to advice her never to present her fake ID to a police officer or government employee. Trying to use a fake ID to get out of some petty bullshit could be a bigger crime than she's trying to get out of (and cops can simply look up ID's on their computer, instantly discovering its false).
posted by el io at 10:55 PM on May 22, 2014

Want to add...a few years ago one of my kids headlined at a nightclub in NYC when she was under age, and her brother who was 12 at the time wanted to see the performance.

I called the management in advance, explained the situation, and they didn't want to let my son into the venue. Legal issues, losing their license, etc.

When I explained that their headliner was also under age, they were nice enough to allow him to come, but we had to stay in a certain (I guess) VIP area. It may be because their headliner needed a legal chaperone/guardian present, now that I think about it.

I think it's worth a shot to call and ask ahead of time. If they have an area where your kid can be supervised and you have a special story, it may be okay.
posted by kinetic at 4:25 AM on May 23, 2014

Nthing the suggestions that your first step should be to contact the venue.

Quoting from the Ontario Liquor License Act:

"(2) If a condition of the liquor sales licence prohibits the entry of persons under nineteen years of age at the premises to which the licence applies, the licence holder shall ensure that an item of identification is inspected before admitting the person to the premises."

IANAL, but that suggests to me that some venues are allowed to have minors present, and some aren't, and it depends on the individual venue's liquor license. So it might be perfectly legit for your daughter to go to the show.

And even if it's not totally legit, they might be willing to bend the rules, since she'll be accompanied by a parent.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:49 AM on May 23, 2014

Don't do this. Role modelling, blah, blah. But the more important part is that an RCMP, provincial or city police officer could find out. If you're with her, you would have knowingly helped her break the law. They may call the Ministry and open a child protection case or charge you.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 6:38 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I took my little sister to a ton of shows when she was underaged (I'm significantly older). I just called up the venue and explained the situation, and most of the time, they made allowances for her as described above. Before resorting to fake IDs (!), try working it out with the management. In the US at least, there's often an exemption for minors attending with their parents.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:00 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't think contacting the venue is such a hot idea. They could lose their liquor license.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:11 AM on May 23, 2014

If it's a small enough venue, they may be able to hear the music from outside. They wouldn't be able to see the acts, but it's better than nothing. Also won't teach your kid bad habits, risk using a fake ID, risk losing your ticket money, and risk the venue getting in trouble with the law.

Completely legal, and completely free. The safety in doing this may be another matter, especially if it's in a sketchy neighborhood. But it's a possibility.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:44 PM on May 23, 2014

Easiest way is a college student's ID who looks like her. Or even just a female. That's how everyone in college used "fake" IDs- they weren't fake, but just a sorority sister's or something.
posted by jmd82 at 7:55 PM on May 23, 2014

Uh, the drinking age in "Canada" is not 19. It varies by province. In Alberta, Quebec, and Manitoba, it's 18.

Take her to 18+ concerts with you when she's 18+. She's your daughter, not your drinking buddy.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:10 PM on May 24, 2014

Thanks for all your responses and cautions.

I took your collective advice and did call a couple of other venues to get a feel for what was possible. As I suspected, at least here in Toronto, they treat this as a hard and fast rule ... as they probably should to some random unknown who could potentially create a headache for them.

But all we wanted to do is see a band that we both love. I went to tons of concerts when I was underage. But there was never an issue at the door because my friend's uncle owned a club and knew all the promoters. Decades later, that avenue is sadly no longer available to me.

Daughter does not have older cousins or friends that look anything like her to provide a usable real ID.

So what did we do? We went to the show. Bouncer took a cursory look at fake ID, took our tickets and waved us in. WOOHOO!! Show was fantastic. Daughter and I had a great time.

For those who expressed concern, daughter does not drink at all. I drink very occasionally. That's just not who we are. As to the message to my kid? I've always taught my kids that there are RULES and there are rules. You may not agree but I'm pretty happy with the results.

Finally, apologies to ethnomethodologist. Here in the Centre of the Universe, some of us forget it can be different in the boonies ;)
posted by Hash at 12:14 PM on May 27, 2014

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