ACT Policing have issued a stern warning to under-18s planning a big night at the Australia Day Live concert: if you get caught drinking, you will be arrested and your parents will be called.

Speaking ahead of the free concert to be held on the lawns of Parliament House on Friday evening, operation commander Robert Wilson said the police would be out in force in Civic, Woden and the Parliamentary precinct, and would particularly focus on identifying drunk teenagers.

“Our main priority is for families to have a good time, and we'll do our upmost through a high visibility presence, not only through the parliamentary precinct but right throughout Canberra to be sure that happens and to prevent anti-social behaviour," he said.

Under-18s caught drunk or with alcohol would be taken to City Police Station and their parents called to collect them, he said.

Police would patrol around Parliament House from midday, and would be checking places where young people were known to drink.

At the 2012 concert, police took 44 young people into custody for drunkeness or possessing alcohol.