Summer’s here, which means it’s concert season. Whether you’re in charge of an indoor or outdoor venue, stadium or park, an arena or amphitheatre, concert security should be top of mind. Here are 6 tips to ensure crowd safety throughout the entire summer concert season.
1. Create a large separation between the crowd and the performer(s)
The size of the space and the amount of personnel needed will vary. Usually 15-30 feet is enough, but evaluate each concert separately. For example Justin Bieber, you may need more space, as thousands of teenage Beliebers will stop at nothing to touch any ground that the Biebs has walked on. Or maybe you have a metal band coming and you expect some pretty tough dudes to be there. You might want to lengthen the space and beef up security for that one too.
2. Control entry
If things are getting crazy past the entrance, slow entry a bit. Allow those who are inside to head towards the venue, and then start moving incoming traffic again. Don’t allow too many people in one concentrated area – that’s a recipe for trouble.
3. Form multiple emergency exits and make sure those exits are clearly visible
If something goes wrong, you want attendees to know exactly where to go. God forbid, there’s a fire or another emergency situation, law enforcement loses almost all of the control they had. Panic will spread quickly, at which point crowd movement becomes entirely sporadic. If your exits are marked, easy to find, and clearly communicated, you’ll lessen the chance of a stampede or crowd crush.
4. Cordon off all dangerous areas
Where is your venue? Is it inside or outside? if it’s inside, use crowd control to block staircases, mark traffic routes, and keep people away from dangerous areas in the facility. If it’s outside, use it for traffic routes, but also to mark any danger zones such as water, high drop points, and areas where electrical equipment may be stored and in use.
5. Form a single line queue for entry
At concerts, people gather in large groups anyhow. With multiple lines, you’d have an uneven mess with unhappy attendees switching lines and complaining about the slow ones. With a single line queue, you can be sure you’ll get every attendee in as fast as possible.
6. Increase security
Last, but certainly not least, beef up security. In terms of personnel, take what you think you’ll need, and increase that number 15-30%. You never know what can happen at a concert. People are under the influence, inhibitions are lowered, and they oftentimes feel they’re in an isolated, lawless territory. A large presence of law enforcement will squash those thoughts and decrease the chance of riots, crowd crushes, and other crowd related injuries.