|Public Safety Alert:
Crowd Management Dangers|
What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself and Your Family
1992 through 2002, there were 232 deaths from crowd-safety failures at
concerts and festivals around the world, and more than 66,000 people
were injured. During a single week in 2003, a stampede to exit the E2
nightclub in Chicago left 21 dead by asphyxiation or heart attack; 100
others died either trying to escape or from injuries after they escaped
a pyrotechnics fire at a Great White concert at the Station, a club in
West Warwick, Rhode Island.
Concerts, sports arenas, and other performance events should be a safe,
entertaining activity for the public. Conscientious promoters, security
firms, and performing artists must create a secure environment for all.
It is their legal responsibility to do this to look out for the safety
of their patrons. Unfortunately, many concert planners are more
concerned about the bottom line than they are about the safety of their
Concerts and music festivals can be an enjoyable and entertaining
activity, but with thousands of concert goers injured each year, it is
important that we recognize the possible safety risks. Conscientious
venue managers, performers, promoters and security firms work to provide
a safe environment for attendees. The concert industry has known for
decades about the dangers of concerts that proceed without proper
planning, and it is up to responsible concert planners to do take some
simple steps to ensure a safe a fun concert experience. There are danger
signs that you should look for, to help protect your children, yourself
and your friends.
Keeping your senses alert and being aware of your surroundings can help
keep you out of harms way. Some event stressors taken into consideration
by professional risk managers can be represented by the acronym FIST:
Force: An estimation of pressure
loads created by a crowd by a calculation based on density.
Information: The sights and sounds affecting group perceptions:
signs, announcements, staff training and ticket systems.
Space: The practical working capacities of entry gates and lane
systems, viewing areas, corridors, ramps and stairs.
Time: The different degree of crowding that can be expected
during the longer period of ingress compared to the shorter post
This acronym suggests several rules to
help us stay safe while in a crowd. Furthermore, virtually all concert
goers don’t know the dangers of a crowd crush injury, and
understandably, but mistakenly believe, that safety steps have been
taken to keep them out of harm’s way. Regrettably, that’s not always
true. Here are a few things that you should look out for:
that have “general admission tickets,” (otherwise known as “festival
seating”), overcrowded fields can be a trap for the unwary. While
general admission concerts can be fun, reckless concert planners may
not limit the number of people who can access the field, and patrons
can get trapped in a sea of bodies if concert planners ignore your
safety. The combination of big crowds in uncontrolled spaces leads
to see if the planners have installed a “T” or “H” barrier in the
audience, to limit the number of people who can congregate in any
one area. Responsible concert planners have installed these safety
barriers for decades. Unfortunately, however, many planners put
profits over people, preferring to put the money to install safety
barriers into their own pockets, rather than in safety needs of
patrons. (Click here for a photograph of an “H” barrier installed at
the HFStival in Washington, D.C. in 2003).
the event in plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the nearest
exits, and locations of the security office, medical services, and
phones. When entering a venue, check the emergency exits and share
and confirm the locations and status with your companions. As you
position yourself in the venue, make a note of the nearest exit,
preferably a secondary exit -- NOT the main entry/exit.
To avoid a
crowd's rush to leave following a performance, consider departing
before the end of the show.
The above information can help you to
asses the risk to the crowd by the event surroundings. For more
information, please see some of the helpful links and articles below, or
contact us and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have.
Resources for Attendees, Parents and Families
Article: Won’t get fooled again
Overcrowding at concerts causes injury and death—despite industry
denials. Don’t be fooled: Crowd crush cases turn on straightforward
questions of foreseeability and duty of care.
Safety statistics and guidelines. News and Resources about improving
SafeConcerts.com - Review an event venue
before you attend, read what previous concert goers had to say about
safety and security.
CrowdDynamics.com - "Insufficient consideration of human space
requirements has resulted in inadequate design of many areas where
pedestrians may be required to accumulate in large groups. In some
instances, overcrowding of these areas has resulted in injury and loss
of life." Fruin. Pedestrian Planning and Design
Court Order Recognizing Obligations of Promoter, Crowd Managment
Company, and Performer