Managing Safety At Large-Crowd Events
We live in South Florida, and one of the great things about living here is the extraordinary amount of events that happen here. From concerts to fairs to festivals, almost every weekend of the year you can find something going on, and that’s not even counting our numerous sports teams.
But with these events come crowds. And it does happen, that crowds get unruly, out of control, and accidents happen. Who is responsible when a crowd gets out of control and injures someone, and what can venues do to avoid this from happening?
Travis Scott Concert Tragedy
It was a little over a year ago that eight people in Houston were killed at a Travis Scott concert. After that concert, lawsuits were filed, alleging missteps in security that could have avoided the incident, or at least minimized the injuries and accidents that happened.
Some of the things that the Scott lawsuit alleged, and which are generally good practice, should be used at all large-scale events—especially at those that are general admission, or which don’t have separate, individual seats the way, say, a sports venue would have.
For example, some questions to ask when injuries happen after a crowd gets out of control are where emergency personnel are stationed. At the Scott concert, and likely at many others, emergency personnel are or were outside the venue, which can waste precious response time.
Is there a contact system between security, concert personnel, bouncers, and emergency responders? Today, much of this staff is equipped with cell phones. But in crowded arenas, cell coverage can be slow, and unreliable—good old walkie talkies are much quicker and more reliable for these kinds of communications.
Like any facility, venues have maximum capacities. But many venues are set up in a way that allows non-ticketed people to sneak past security or ticket checkpoints. This can easily cause the venue to exceed its maximum capacity.
Venue Setup, Barriers & Security
The physical setup of the crowd matters also. Crowds should have open spaces—aisles where there are no people standing. This way, if the crowd does surge, there is some advanced warning, as the crowd fills the previously empty space. It can also give people precious seconds to get out of the way of a surging crowd.
Physical barriers also can create a problem. On the one hand, they can act as a deterrent to crowds rushing a stage, but they can also act as a trap; a barrier can confine a surging crowd to a closed space, and end up leaving no “relief points” for surging crowds to go.
Human security matters also. Human security can often deter a crowd from surging. Of course, this is not foolproof—a few human security guards won’t be able to stop an entire crowd—but they may be able to help people get out of the way of a surging crowd, or stop a crowd from surging in the first place.
Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today if you have been injured in any way at a large crowd event.