In some of our previous articles, we have talked about how to plan a music event and ensure it runs successfully. In this piece, we discuss how to make sure your music event remains safe for you and your attendees – whether it be a large festival or a small gig. After all, the health and safety of guests should be at the forefront of any event planner’s mind, otherwise it could end up a disaster.
Having an effective health and safety strategy in place before your event starts is vital. That’s not to say it has to be super long or highly detailed – it simply needs to utilise common sense and act as a guide for you to handle any potential harmful situations.
Whether it be a musician cutting themselves on a guitar string, or a food van catching alight, it’s important to think about every aspect of your event that could go wrong, and put procedures in place to handle each situation. Here are five key areas you need to think about when it comes to holding a music event safely.
Prevent Parking Problems.
Depending on the number of guests you have attending your event, you need to consider parking plans and how to manage traffic. If your event is being held in a field without road access, for example, how are your guests going to know where to go and park? Alternatively, if your event is taking place at a small village hall with limited parking, how can you guarantee each guest will be able to park easily?
To prevent car chaos, you need to look at the venue and monitor the guests you have coming. If your chosen venue is unable to handle the number of attendees, you might need to think about either changing the venue, or limiting the number of tickets you have available.
Likewise, on the day of the event, you need to have an effective traffic management plan in place. Hiring temporary concrete barriers, such as those provided by Maltaward, can make guiding traffic a breeze, easily allowing guests to know where they’re going.
Think About Your Venue.
OK, so you’ve got the traffic and parking sorted – now for the event itself. You need to really scrutinise the venue you’ve chosen to hold your event at, considering factors like its capacity, accessibility, hazards and facilities. In doing so, you can develop a plan to indicate to guests where all the structures, entrances and exits will be.
You can then decide how exactly you want your event to run. Ask yourself: would you rather your guests were seated or standing? Have you provided sufficient access for pedestrians and vehicles? What proximity does the venue have to the nearest hospital, fire or police station? Do you have medical equipment/personnel on hand if required? You will need to know the answer to each of these questions and more, to combat against any potential issues.
Create a Risk Assessment & Emergency Plan.
Once you’ve finished analysing your venue’s suitability, and understand it like the back of your hand, it’s time to run a risk assessment. You will need to think about any potential risks your event could present – whether it be a trip hazard, weather issue, catering problem, fire threat or first aid matter.
Once you’ve identified all the possible risks, perform the following process:
Write a brief description of the risk.
Rate its risk level on a scale of 1 – 5 (1 = negligible, 5 = high).
Consider who is most at risk of being affected.
Write one or two sentences (usually bullet points) on how you will mitigate the risk.
Repeat the process for all the other risks you have identified.
After you’ve done this, you’ll need to design an emergency plan for your event, helping you respond to any potential emergency you encounter – no matter how big or small. Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself when devising your plan:
What shall I do to raise the alarm?
How should I inform the attendees?
How should I liaise with the emergency services?
Can I use any on-site equipment (i.e. fire extinguisher) to respond?
What’s the best method to remove guests from the situation?
Music events can become fairly rowdy affairs, especially when alcohol is involved. Guard against this by implementing a security team at your event. Not only will they be legally qualified to deal with any guests creating dangerous situations, but they will also give you peace of mind that your event is running in safe hands.
Many security teams have some form of medical training too, so will be able to assist in these situations as well. You will need to let them know how you want them to act though, which will very much depend on the risk assessment and emergency plan you put in place beforehand.
Testing, testing – one, two, three.