Stampedes are an imminent threat to every concert or event where large crowds are involved. If you are an event organizer, you have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of every attendee. It is not uncommon for stampedes to result in injuries and deaths and, consequently, major lawsuits. So what can you do to prevent a stampede at your event?
Dis-organisation on the part of organizers can be blamed for many instances of stampedes. If you are planning to hold a big concert or event, do not wait for the last minute to finalize arrangements. Last-minute rushes are likely to lead to assumptions and oversights. Inspect the venue well in advance and remove bottlenecks that could affect the flow of people. Most importantly, have an estimate of how many people you will be expecting, to make proper arrangements.
Understand Crowd Behavior
If you have never dealt with large crowds, seek expert opinion on what to expect. People are selfish and competitive in nature and will want the best spots for themselves. Try to create an environment of ‘there’s plenty for everyone’ rather than ‘everyone for himself’. It is also important to understand that people gathered in large crowds tend to feel a sense of diffused responsibly. Often called mob psychology, it can lead to destructive behavior.
Have Enough Security
It would be stupid to have ten marshals to control a crowd of one thousand people. Armed policemen may not be a requirement in all cases, but police officers offer a sense of authority even without being armed. Also, let your security detail be properly dressed; uniformed marshals are more likely to be effective than regular guys in T-shirts. The bottom line is that you should have enough crew who evoke a sense of authority.
Divide the Crowd into Manageable Units
It goes without saying that smaller crowds are easier to handle than big ones. The secret is to break up big crowds into smaller groups. Temporary fences and barriers for hire can be erected to separate the venue into zones and prevent large crowds from pooling closely together. Superfence, a temporary fence provider, says support blocks are standard additions you also need, to avoid the occurrence of tripping.
Have a Clear Exit Strategy in Case of Emergencies
Even though you are not expecting any trouble, it is good to be prepared for it. As a rule, you should always have a clear entry and exit strategy, but in the case of emergencies such as fire or any kind of threat, extra measures are necessary. This might include providing emergency doors or exits.
Most stampedes are avoidable. With proper planning and management, they can be eliminated. Event organizers should constantly sharpen their skills on crowd management to read signs of trouble and act before disaster strikes.