29th November 2016
Music events can be a very lucrative business opportunity for those with the right contacts and a good knowledge of current trends. Even small events can host up to several hundred people packed into a relatively small space.
There are many risks of having a large number of people packed into any space. It is not uncommon for more people to turn up to the gig at a successful gig than can fit into the venue, leading to a dangerously full venue and blocked doors. These risks can be mitigated with clear crowd management policies, security fencing, correct fire evacuation procedures, effective signage, adequate emergency lighting and maintaining clear exits. Problems can arise when emergency exits are blocked either by the crowd or by staging or equipment, so ensuring that these areas are kept clear with adequate signs and barriers should be a priority.
Sometimes even relatively unheard of musical groups can attract a fanatical group of fans determined to meet or gain access to the musicians, ensuring that any backstage or artists only area is kept out of bounds to fans. Not only will the artists not want to be disturbed by people immediately before performing, but a large number of people pouring into a small area is far from ideal, and someone could get hurt.
When problems do arise, it will often be bar staff, the sound engineer or the door staff that will be the first to notice, making sure that they all know what to do in an emergency. For example, all staff should know where they can activate the fire alarm, where the emergency exits are and how to contact the emergency services quickly should the need arise.
Whenever problems get out of hand or tragedies occur, the majority of the time, the issue will have been made several times worse by a simple lack of planning. Also, keep in mind that most people at the event will be drinking alcohol which can make situations all the more unpredictable – all the more reason to take security and safety seriously.