Events and particularly music events require much planning and thought beforehand. In most cases, it is recommended that a team is put in place to take control of this planning process. The risks must be considered, and solutions put in place.
There are a series of different risks involved when preparing for a music event, from the risk of infection to the risk of injury caused by poor planning, especially near points of egress.
Paying extra attention to laws and legislation can ensure you are providing a safe environment for both workers and audiences alike. This includes The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Noise at Work Regulations 2005.
The most common types of accidents at music events occur from falls or slips on wet or uneven surfaces, as well as crowd-related incidents such as crushing or trampling.
Other risks include flying debris from pyrotechnics, sound equipment malfunctions, and even electrocutions due to faulty wiring.
To avoid these issues, it’s important that event planners adhere to local fire codes and other regulations when constructing stages and equipment. Additionally, proper ventilation should be installed in venues where fog machines are used, so that performers don’t suffer from smoke inhalation.
There are many factors that event planners must consider throughout the event planning process, as discussed by 'The Event Tutor' below. This article will go over some of these necessary considerations, but risk assessment software can help your business manage each and every task with efficiency and accuracy.
Here at EcoOnline, we are constantly striving to create software that makes assessing risks and finding health and safety solutions easier and more effective.
We understand that every event and business is unique, and that advice must be sought from other sources including the local authorities and emergency services. Below are just a few areas to think about when planning a music event.
Having many contractors on site can provide an issue where health and safety is concerned. Asking contractors to provide their own health and safety policies, as well as detailing where the risks may lie during their work can prove beneficial.
Permit management can also be a complex process if paper-based, especially when dealing with multiple contractors from multiple organizations. Before the arrival of contractors or outside workers to a venue, ensure there are clear safety policies and requirements and that these are communicated to and understood by all involved.
Access and Exit
Consideration needs to be taken for how your audience will both access and exit a music venue. Temporary traffic signs may be needed or event marshals to guide traffic to the correct location.
When traffic then reaches your venue, the parking must be well thought-out in order to include both the audience’s individual vehicles, coaches, as well as artist and staff’s vehicles. Dependent on the scale of the music event at hand, this may be manageable independently or may possibly require professional assistance.
It’s also important that traffic patterns are established before the event begins in order to ensure that everyone is able to get through quickly and safely.
This includes assigning specific lanes for incoming guests and outgoing guests as well as setting up barriers or signs along pathways leading up to entrances or exits.
Additionally, it’s helpful for EHS teams to assign security personnel who can help direct traffic flow and answer any questions guests may have about how they should enter or exit the event safely.
When planning any event, the entire customer journey must be thought about. Once visitors leave their vehicles, their journey on foot is still important. Ideally, pedestrians should be segregated from vehicles access areas. If this is unavoidable, safe crossings and routes should be put in place. This is not only desirable, but it is also the law to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles can use a traffic route without causing danger to the health or safety of people around them.
More importantly, when planning for entry and exit at a music event, one of the most important factors is selecting the right venue. The venue should have enough room for both incoming and outgoing guests, as well as access points that provide plenty of space for both groups. In addition, it’s important to make sure there are enough exits in case of emergencies.
It’s also important to consider the layout of the venue when deciding how many access points should be available; if there are too few access points, lines could form which could lead to overcrowding or long wait times.
Sound and particularly volume is obviously a huge consideration at any music event. Typically noises above 85dB are harmful, yet the noise levels at concerts and sports events reach levels of roughly 120-129 dB.
High sound levels can present a risk to the audience. This is both because of the effect high volume may have on hearing and because of the high levels of vibration. It is a requirement of The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Noise at Work Regulations 2005 that employers and event organizers protect both their workers and audience from noise and vibrations.
Sound and vibration levels should be monitored during rehearsal, along with sound checks and performances to ensure full control is kept and adjustments can be made. All of these steps can be implemented and monitored through best practice solutions.
The risks involved with a music event can vary drastically from event to event. In order to plan for crowds in any event there must be clear knowledge of numbers, types of staff or stewards on hand, how they will organize themselves, and who is in command.
Dealing with crowds is not about controlling people but rather about understanding crowd psychology and dynamics in order to manage them accordingly and should not be taken lightly.
Various strategies can be taken to prevent the likes of overcrowding, for example, 'fast lanes' for those without the need for bag searches, as well as pens with strict maximum allocations.
A risk assessment including an emergency plan and a first aid plan must be put in place to be prepared for crowd surges, injuries, and other major incidents including crowd clashes with neighboring sports and social venues.
In order to protect attendees from potential harm posed by large crowds, security personnel should be stationed throughout the venue during an event.
This includes having security guards at all entrances, monitoring exits for overcrowding, ensuring that paths are clear for emergency vehicles (if needed), and providing regular updates on the status of the performance throughout the night.
Additionally, metal detectors should be employed if there is any risk of weapons being brought into a venue—this is especially important for larger events like concerts or festivals where attendance numbers can reach tens of thousands of people or more.
Social media has risen astronomically at events in the last 3 years, acting as a ‘live feed’ for all activity from wedding proposals to updates on bar queues. However, it is also an instant “panic button” if not measured, assessed, or planned for. Managing social traffic at events is key to managing potential issues with crowds, possible incidents, and ensuring all known issues are tracked and responded to.
It’s also important to manage communication with attendees before, during, and after the music event. This includes pre-event marketing campaigns such as email newsletters, social media posts, flyers or posters etc., as well as post-event follow ups such as thank you emails or surveys.
During the actual event itself, it’s important to have a clear plan for managing crowd control so that everyone remains safe while still having a great time.
This is just a small snippet of the areas that need to be considered for music events taken from Simon Garrett's keynote speech for Airsweb (now EcoOnline) User Conference.
Simon’s keynote on the “Risk Assessment of a Concert” was well received. People were able to exclusively hear from an expert on the key issues of risk management and health and safety processes surrounding music events.