Working as a project manager for the International Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies I have seen some 'interesting' approaches to health & safety regulations at events and festivals. From incomplete front of stage barriers to overflowing toilets and anything in between. I have worked at an event where an incompetent event management plan lead to audience members being hospitalised. As an event planner you need to avoid these kind of mistakes. After all, you are talking about the health, safety and well-being of your audience.
What is this workshop all about?
The course Event Safety is for you if you are an (aspiring) event planner, an event manager, or an event organiser.
Your Event Safety workshop
At the end of this course you will have a better understanding of the following subjects:
Throughout the workshop you will find exercises to make it practical. And of course you can contact me, your event tutor, if you have any questions. There are 33 bite sized lectures in this course. I have included documents such as the Event Safety Guide and the Guide To Safety At Sports Grounds.
What other students say
"Under Jarno’s guidance, I left university with both the highest grade obtainable and a vast amount of industry experience on my resume. Jarno is an inspirational tutor who anyone willing to learn the industry, will thrive under!" Stew Denny, Music Festival organiser
"Being taught by Jarno has been nothing but a privilege! He has profound and versatile industry knowledge and has been an inspiring tutor." Sarah Tschentscher, Festival & Events Officer
How much is this workshop?
Only $30! Yes, you might have to read that twice.... ONLY $30. Because I think a safe event is beneficial for everyone. This is a short course that will teach your the very basics of event safety.
1. Can I contact you if I have a question about the course content?
A. Absolutely! That's what a tutor is for. You can contact me via Jarno@eventtutor.com. My aim is to respond to your email as quick as possible.
2. Is this event safety workshop only useful if I want to plan a festival?
A. It is useful if you want to plan any type of event. The workshop covers a wide variety of subjects and will benefit any event planner. Truth be told though that if you are a wedding planner than this course might not be right for you.
3. I've seen other online courses that are more expensive. Why is this course so cheap?
A. I want to make sure the course is accessible to those who dream about organising their first event. I want to teach them what event planning entails. I do not want my students to be out of pocket.
I have created more workshops:
What are you waiting for?
Sign up today and you will learn how to plan, organise, and produce a safe event. Remember, it's only $30.
Welcome to The Event Tutor.
Welcome to the course Event Safety. My name is Jarno Stegeman and from 2006-2013 I was project manager at the International Center for Crowd Management & Security Studies. My career has always been a combination of event planning and education. From organizing a 30,000 capacity music festival in the Netherlands to the more intimate business-to-business events, there has always been involvement of health & safety elements.
In this short course I want to give you an overview of health & safety aspects you need to consider when you organize an event or festival.
In this course I will ask you to think about your own risk assessment. What should you think of? How will you go about assessing the hazards and the risks?
As an event producer you are responsible for the well-being of your audience. In the course we will look at how you can increase welfare for your audience when they are at your event.
As an event producer, an event manager or an event organizer you are responsible for the safety and well-being of your audience. The aim of health and safety regulations is to prevent accidents or injuries in workplaces or public environments.
In other words, you need to think about aspects that might cause harm to your visitors and how you will prevent harm from happening (or at least minimize the impact). This means you need to identify hazards and risks.
Hazard: anything that has the potential to cause harm to people
Risk: the likelyhood that the harm from a hazard is realized
I have attached The Event Safety Guide. This is the British Guide from 1999 and there have been updates on laws and regulations. There is also an American version of The Event Safety Guide.
You are responsible for the well-being of guests at your event. I'm not just talking about having enough security at your event. Think of food poisoning, visitors being drunk, one of your guest being hit by an on-site vehicle, fire breaking out inside a venue, drug use, etc.
As the "responsible person" (or the occupier of the premises) you have a duty of care for:
Negligence is punishable by law so make sure you do everything possible to comply with regulations.
This workshop points you in the right direction but make sure you always check with your licence provider about their health & safety regulations. Regulations, laws, and rules are different per country and sometimes even per region so please make sure you double check with your authorities.
You need to know what you want to organize. Sounds simple right? Well this is were a lot of event organizers make mistakes. Some roughly know what kind of event they want to organize but the details are missing:
And the list goes on. It is called event PLANNING for a reason...
You need to be prepared for the worst and come up with solutions to potential problems (or preferably try to avoid them). This session is all about you getting ready to start thinking about your event plan.
You need to know who you audience is before you pick your venue (or premises). Describe your audience:
All of the above items will have an impact on several health and safety aspects of your event. An audience of young adults might consume more alcohol/drugs at your event then a more mature audience. Young children might not understand the safety procedures (signage, communication) and an audience of senior citizens might need more time to evacuate a building. If your event attendees need to travel from far you need to provide them with parking spaces or public transport providers need to be notified.
So who is your audience? And how will your audience impacts your health and safety measures at your event?
Choosing an event site requires you to think carefully about what it is you want to achieve with your event. A premises (a greenfield site, a building, or a place you organize your event) needs to work for your event. It needs to work from a marketing and commercial point of view but is also needs to work from a safety point of view.
From a safety point of view, why is it important to know who will attend your event?
A site survey is an assessment of all the aspects of an event that are likely to impact on the crowd safety management plan.
Attached you will find The Safety at Sports Grounds Guide. This guide explains how to calculate the capacity of your event.
A site survey happens at the early stages of your production. Make sure you visit your location several times. In this session we will discuss the different items you need to consider when conduction a site survey. Make sure you keep the following in mind when doing a site survey:
Go to your living room and do a site survey. It doesn't matter how big or small your room is just treat it as if it will be the site for an event.
This is an exercise to test your understanding of "size".
Open the document to see the instructions.
If you have any questions please post them in the discussion board.
This is another exercise. I live in Brighton (United Kingdom) and every summer plenty of events and festivals are being organized throughout the city. A favourite location seems to be the seaside for events such as bike races, classic cars exhibitions, rugby world cup screenings, and movies on the beach. It's all happening on the seaside in Brighton!
I have filmed the site and I want you to do a site survey for me. I appreciate that you cannot see all the details as good as you would if you were here in person. Have a look and let me know what you think are the most obvious potential hazards to you.
Joseph Pred is the CEO of Mutual Aid Response Services (MARS) and he has worked with music and art festivals such as Burning Man (USA), Glastonbury (UK), and Insomniac (USA). His company is based in San Francisco. I interviewed Joseph in the summer of 2015.
After your site survey it is time to design the site based on what you now know (after the survey). According to the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds the 5 factors you should consider when calculating you final capacity are:
1. The entry capacity
2. The holding capacity
3. The exit capacity
4. The emergency evacuation
5. The final capacity
We will look at the physical and safety factors, the sightlines, and the crowd flow at your event that determines the layout of your site.
A risk assessment is a document in which you describe the process to identify potential hazards and analyze what could happen if a hazard occurs.
A hazard = anything which has the potential to cause harm to people
A risk = the likelihood that the harm from a hazard is realized
It is not an easy task to make a risk assessment. Some might say that you should leave the risk assessment to the professionals but I think you need to know how to create one. After all, you are the responsible person.
The 5 steps you need to remember when creating a risk assessment:
Step 5 is something you will keep doing until the event / festival has finished. (including the break down!)
It's difficult to spot potential hazards. When you first create a risk assessment you might want to picture your event attendees as small children. Small children want to touch everything, they want to pick things up, they fall over stuff.... etcetera. Your audience might not act like small children but a drunk festival attendee can do some remarkable things. Trust me!
So look at your festival site through the eyes of your festival attendees (including the ones that are drunk). Will your audience act like small children? If so, what can they pick up, stumble upon, who can they hurt....
I can only give you some examples. Each venue, each greenfield site is different. The organization is different, the crowd is different, the food is different, the weather is different, etc. Make sure you discuss your list of hazards with your emergency services and/or local authorities.
Joseph Pred, CEO of Mutual Aid Response Services explain why you need a risk assessment for your event. Joseph is frequently asked to speak at conferences on the subject of health and safety at events and large gatherings.
Years ago I was in a nightclub where I didn't feel safe. The venue was too crowded and it was boiling hot. At one time security had to open the emergency exits to let fresh air into the room. In my opinion that wasn't a safe place yet no one left the venue. I did not leave either, until it got too much for me. No one got injured but it did make me very aware that I should always keep my wits about me.
Have you been in situations where you didn't feel safe? This can be in a nightclub, a bar, at an event, at a festival, a train station or another public space. Situations you can think of: weather conditions, crowded, crowd behaviour, or..... [fill in the blanks]
Add your answers to the discussion board of this workshop.
Joseph Pred (www.MARS911.info) explains the practical implementation of your risk assessment.
Medical and first aid facilities at your event are incredible important. But what do you need to have on site? Do you need an ambulance on standby or can you treat people in your own medical facilities?
And what do we mean by welfare at festivals?
When minimizing the medical and/or health risks at your event you need to look at some of the following:
Again this list is to give you an idea of what to think of but more items could (should) be included.
At your event or festival you need to have some facilities for your medical workers. The first thing to think of is the area you offer to your first aiders. Consider where this will be located on site and how easy it is for attendees to get to these facilities. Besides this you need to think about the logistics of your facilities:
In this section we will discuss the equipment that can go into a medical facility area. You always need to check with your medical team provider what they exactly need on site. This should be discussed way in advance of your event/festival taking place. Always consult with medical experts!
In this section you will learn the importance of working with a good and professional medical team.
There are several organizations that can provide you with more information regarding welfare and/or harm reduction programs at events and festivals. Please do check their websites.
Attitude is Everything (UK) - improving deaf and disabled people's access to live music
Dance Safe (USA) - promoting health and safety within the electronic music community
The Zendo Project (USA) - proving a supportive environment and education to transform difficult experiences into valuable learning opportunities
I've got 3 questions for you. Please check The Event Safety Guide for this question. It doesn't matter whether you use the UK or the USA version of the guide. You can find the Event Safety Guide as an attachment in the 3rd lecture of this workshop (the importance of health & safety at your event).
Please provide your answers in the discussion board.
Your signage plan is a layout of al the signage used at your event or festival site. The bigger your event the more signage you will have. But before you plaster the entire site with signs....think. Be clever about what you tell your audience, where you tell it and how you tell it.
In your signage plan you need to include the following:
Your communication plan is a clear description of how and when communication will take place and by whom. There are 2 parts to your communication plan:
In this section you will learn what goes in each of the plans. The point of creating a communication plan is to minimize potential risks and be prepared.
Your emergency plan gives a clear description of the preventive measures when incidents occur. These measures should be discussed with your local authorities and the emergency services, including your medical team and your security coordinator. In your emergency plan you cover the following subjects:
Again this list is not exhaustive and you should always discuss your emergency procedures with your local authorities.
No one wants to cancel the event you have been working on for so long. However it sometimes happens. In this section you will see a "real life" case study of a festival that got cancelled hours before doors were to open.
How could you have prevented this?
What would you have done differently?
In this exercise you will find 3 case studies. Each case study represents an event where something (emergency, accident) happened. My question to you is: What would you have done differently if you were the event organizer? You might come to the conclusion that the organizers did everything right. I leave that to you.
Please place your answers on the discussion board of this course.
I have already answered this question: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE!
You are the event producer, the event planner or the event organizer so you are the one throwing this party. You are the reason people came to your event site. If you think that throwing a party doesn't come with responsibilities you are probably not cut out for the event industries.
In this section I will give you several examples of why you, as the organizer, are responsible.
Always talk to your permit or license provider. Most likely this is your local authority (city hall, council, local government). Do not see them as the "enemy" that tries to prevent you from organizing your event. See them as a partner in the process. You need them so listen to them and discuss your plans with them.
In this section I will tell you who I used to talk with to get the correct licenses. In one case this involved about 25 different parties: 3 different city councils, environmental agencies, security, traffic police, health organizations, railway company, bus companies, neighborhood committees, etc.
You can not create a risk assessment the day before your event. It is not an add-on or an after thought. A risk assessment makes you think about the potential harm your event can cause to other people. Start creating your risk assessment at an early stage and keep updating it up until the day of your event (even then you can keep updating it).
The 5 steps you need to remember when creating a risk assessment:
Take your responsibility and speak to your partners that can help you organize a safe event.
A final piece of advice from Joseph Pred. If you are new to even planning what should you do? Where do you start?
Once you know what it is you want to organize you need to start planning the details. These details include the safety of your event.
I hope you enjoyed this workshop. For more information please visit www.eventtutor.com where you can also find other workshops such as:
I have produced other workshops covering event planning:
1. Event To Plan A Successful Event: An Easy Guide
2. Sustainable Event Management In 8 Easy Steps
3. Wedding Planning
I have also written an eBook about you implementing an environmental plan. The book is called Event Management: Your Environmental Plan. You can download this on Amazon.
For more information please visit www.eventtutor.com
The Event Safety Guide is an incredible helpful document for any event planner. Be aware that laws, rules, and regulations differ per country and/or region so always double check with your local authorities what the latest regulations are. If you are an American student you should check out the American version of the Event Safety Guide.
The Guide to Safety At Sports Grounds (a.k.a The Green Guide) includes information about how to calculate your capacity. The guide is written for events in sports arenas but there are definitely subjects in there that are applicable for events and festivals.
Passionate about events!
I have over 15 years experience in events, festivals and education. From organizing events for 100 people to festivals for 30,000 people, I've done it.
In my career I have worked as an event manager, a researcher at music festivals, and as a university lecturer in event planning. I'm still very much active in the event industry:
* Coordinator for A Greener Festival
* Production family events
* Researcher at music festivals (Bonnaroo, Lightning in a Bottle, San Francisco Pride)
* Wedding planner
Sign up for my workshops and I will teach you what you need to do in order to plan and organize an event, wedding or festival.
The 5 workshops you should keep an eye out for, are:
1. How To Plan A Successful Event: An Easy Guide
2. Sustainable Event Management In 8 Easy Steps
3. Event Safety
4. Event Marketing
5. Wedding Planning
Sign up today!
A Greener Festival
I am a keen advocate of sustainable event management. Working with A Greener Festival, co-founded by one of my former students, is extremely insightful. As the coordinator for the Award Scheme in North America it is rewarding to see so many festivals (50 festivals world-wide in 2014) taking part in our award scheme.
San Francisco Pride
The San Francisco Pride weekend in 2013 attracted over 1 million people to the city. The events leading unto this weekend were plannend and produced by me. In 2014 I was the coordinator of the Economic Impact Study on behalf of SF Pride and the city of San Francisco. The aim of this research was to measure the economic impact this event has on the city and the wider community. In 2015 I coordinated a demographic study for SF Pride.
Senior Lecturer and Course Leader of the Music & Live Event Management course at Buckinghamshire New University in England. I was responsible for the content and the delivery of courses such as Event Planning & Management, Sustainable Event Management, Event Production, Business Economics, and Strategic Management in the Leisure Industry.
Most Inspirational Tutor Award
I am very proud that I was awarded the prestigious Most Inspirational Tutor-Award by the students of Buckinghamshire New University in 2010 and 2011.
The International Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies
From 2006 until 2013 I was the project manager for the International Centre for Crowd Management and Security Studies, where I was responsible for planning and managing research projects at concerts and large scale festivals such as PinkPop in Holland, Creamfields in the UK, and Exit Festival in Serbia.
In 2010 my research at Exit Festival, a security and safety audit, got published in the book Case Studies in Crowd Management, Security and Business Continuity. Do check it out!
In 2015 I published my first eBook Event Management: Your Environmental Plan. This eBook covers the steps an event organization can take in order to make their event(s) more sustainable.
On behalf of Prof. Dr. G. Keith Still I spoke at the Club Health conference about the “Underlying Causes of Crowd Accidents”. Ever since my undergraduate study, I wrote my thesis about the health & safety aspects at Dance Valley Festival in the Netherlands, I’ve been interested in crowd behavior at events and festivals.
Safety plan CliniClowns Tour
I have researched and written a safety plan for staff and visitors of a theater production of CliniClowns, one of the Netherlands most respected charitable organizations. This theater production was aimed at people with multiple disabilities. A rewarding project to get involved with!
Personal Licence Holder in England
As a Personal Licence Holder in England and Wales, I can act as a designated premises supervisor for any business that sells or supplies alcohol. A great advantage when working at events and festivals.
Pit Training Certificate
The Certificate in Pit Training that I have received is recognized across the industry in the United Kingdom as the qualification required for staff working in the front of stage pit at concerts and festivals.
Research in the Netherlands
As the co-founder of the Entertainment Research Center in the Netherlands I worked with large scale music festivals on licensing and permits, health & safety, and crowd management research.