Rock Festival Safety
The report starts off with a short account of the accident at the Roskilde 2000 Festival, which constitutes the background of the task facing the Working Group. Taking its point of departure in developments in the field of youth music culture and its distinctive characteristics, this report portrays the festival tradition in Denmark augmented by an examination of several serious crowd accidents and initial international experience in the field of preventive crowd management in a historical perspective.
Based on the Working Group’s concrete knowledge of festival culture and current legislation, which is taken into account, the report highlights several focus points that play an important role in safety at music festivals/concerts. The Working Group has placed greatest emphasis on conditions facilitating crowd management in a manner that prevents accidents occurring. This applies to crowd size, density and behaviour, the behaviour of performers, the physical design of the festival site, stewards/security, chain of command, communications with the public and the qualifications and terms of reference of employed personnel.
The Working Group has also looked at such issues as crime, fire and campsite safety, transport and traffic etc, and reviewed the legislation and guidelines that have special impact on music festivals/concerts. Finally, information has been gathered on the emergency provisions in place and response readiness with respect to the critically ill and accident victims.
Against the background of this study, supplemented by the input of external experts in the field and sub-committee experts on fire safety, the Working Group has put forward several recommendations that can contribute to heightening security at Danish music festivals/concerts.
The Working Group recommends measures that effectively involve both promoters and public authorities, performers and the general public to guarantee the best possible safety safeguards and that, in addition, make it practical and financially feasible to continue to hold music festival/concerts in Denmark.
The most significant new measure recommended by the Working Group is the demand for a written mandatory risk evaluation, which must be compiled by festival/concert promoters, as a precondition for permission to hold a stated event. In addition, the Working Group recommends that guidelines be drawn up in Danish, adapted to Danish conditions, analysing safety risks with reference to risk evaluation and safety provisions based on the principles set out in the British Event Safety Guide.
These primary recommendations are supplemented by several proposals designed to expand the Emergency Management Agency’s fire safety regulations and campsite safety provisions, together with establishing a special internal nationwide expert unit within the police force, to act in a consultancy capacity in connection with local police department approval of music festivals/concerts. Other recommendations are intended as guidelines with respect to the response readiness of the emergency services when confronted with the critically ill and accident victims, courses for festival helpers (both volunteers and paid employees), and a “discharge book” for festival staff.
Finally, the Working Group recommends targeted efforts to familiarise young people with the dangers associated with crowds and mass gatherings, the body culture that develops with certain music genres, and how such dangers can be countered.
Ideally, the Working Group would like to see some type of Scandinavian and European cooperation established in the field of festival safety.