Australia is home to a number of music festivals. From small-scale concerts that celebrate the local scene to large-scale, multi-day fests that see hundreds of thousands of attendees, there is no absence of fun and exciting events in the country. It’s not all nice things, however. Unmanaged crowds pose a threat to the overall success of these gatherings.
As more people attend music festivals and with recent events influencing the creation of new rules and regulations for music festivals, event organisers are faced with the responsibility of improving strategies for compliance.
Common Challenges that Affect Crowd Control
- On average, tens of thousands of people attend music festivals in Australia. When there is insufficient planning on the organisers’ part, accidents occur. In terms of crowd control, this can manifest in overcrowding of the venue which can result in a stampede.
- As large-scale events, music festivals need staff members that are fully informed and prepared. Unfortunately, this can quickly be derailed due to inadequate communication channels. Even with set plans in place, staff members need to be able to communicate with their team leads in case of emergencies and complications.
- For any event to be executed successfully, a clear chain of command must be established beforehand. Failure to do so creates a chaotic environment that lacks accountability.
How Can Crowd Control be Improved?
Create a plan and stick with it.
Crowds can get unruly, especially during high-energy, large-scale events like music festivals. In crafting a structured plan with the necessary contingency plans, you can mitigate problems that often arise during these events.
Understand your crowd.
Crowds at music festivals are dependent on the performers and the theme of the event. If admission is free, a huge turnout should be expected. The date of the event also plays a factor in attendance. Overbooking a venue can result in disastrous accidents. To prepare for this, identify your expected demographic and determine the necessary precautionary measures to implement.
Conduct a site assessment to determine risks.
A site assessment prior to your event will help you identify potential dangers and how to avoid them. This will be invaluable when planning for emergency situations that require quick and organised evacuations. For outdoor events, consider using traffic control equipment and other similar tools to protect your crowd from vehicular traffic.
Ensure clear communication throughout the event.
Problems oftentimes stem from miscommunication. In fact, it is one of the biggest obstacles to successful events. Make sure you have clear communication channels for your team and the crowd to avoid this problem. Additionally, provide you team with the necessary equipment, such as two-way radios; use different types of signage and take advantage of the PA system at the venue for the benefit of the crowd.
Conduct a post-mortem meeting afterwards.
A post-mortem meeting at the end of the music festival will give you the necessary insights for future events. In conducting this assessment, you can further improve your strategy.
Music festivals are supposed to be fun and memorable events. Optimising crowd management will help you achieve this goal. It creates a safe environment for the crowd, your staff, the artists, and other third parties involved.