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Meticulous Planning to Avoid Music Festival-Goer Injuries.

Andy Robertson

There are plenty of examples in the history of music festivals where festival-goers have been injured or worse. What can festival organisers do to mitigate any potential problems, reduce risk, and ensure that all on-site visitors enjoy their experience and remain safe for the duration of the event.

Similar to almost any large gathering of people in a single location, music festivals present a host of dangers and risks for anyone attending. According to US data published by Research Gate back in 2004, over a 10-year period, nearly 70,000 people were seriously injured and 232 people died at approximately 300 outdoor music concerts. Although there is no up-to-date data available the causes and number of injuries has probably not changed significantly in recent years.

Typical Injuries. 
Probably the most common injuries come from those associated with large crowds, whether it’s crushing or violent behaviour often seen in mosh pits. Although not an injury the effect of alcohol and drug abuse leads to large numbers of people requiring medical treatment. Although fewer in number there are often more serious injuries from on-site car accidents and criminal assaults for example.

Medical Facilities. 
Having professional medical facilities on a festival site is essential along with first-aid trained staff throughout the site or venue. Rapid response and easy access is key to treating injured festival-goers quickly and this needs careful planning for the location of facilities on site along with easy extraction to local hospitals.

The security staff around stages and other places where crowds gather need to be fully trained to recognise potential issues before they arise. Their priority should be the safety and protection of people over property. The ability to recognise the difference between an audience member in distress rather than someone intent on running onto a stage is essential and forms part of all security staff training. 

Every music festival organisation must have compulsory insurance to cover public liability but it makes sense to take out additional insurance to provide more comprehensive cover for anything not covered in the pubic liability insurance (the legal minimum). Some industry observers in the insurance sector have famously called music festivals ‘uninsurable’ however, depending on the nature of an incident that causes injury the blame may lie with a contractor or private individual and not the festival organiser.

Whilst festival-goer inquires probably cannot be completely eradicated from any large-scale music festival organisers can improve their planning process to minimise risks. Studying how and why injuries occurred at previous events can provide a useful insight into how a festival site is built and managed. All contractors and vendors should have their own insurance and this will be a condition of any contract being awarded. 

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Marcelo Leite via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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