An investigation into successful crowd management and control strategies currently utilised within the live music event industry in the United Kingdom
(2016) An investigation into successful crowd management and control strategies currently utilised within the live music event industry in the United Kingdom, no. 65.
The live music event industry is an event sector that continues to grow all over the world and while the events grow so does the attendance (Getz 2005). While the popularity and attendance at events increase, the number of crowd related incidents that can occur have not changed (Abbott and Geddie 2001; Kemp et al 2014). Over the last 30 years numerous crowd related incidents have occurred at events within the UK. From the Hillsborough disaster where ninety-six people lost their lives due to overcrowding at the event (BBC News 2012), to Glastonbury festival losing their license in 2001 due to intense overcrowding at the event in 2000 (Wilson and Perry 2001). Although all of these incidents have occurred, crowd management and crowd control is still not receiving the required amount of attention to maximise the safety for attendees at events. A gap in the literature was found as previous research did not look in depth at the strategies used for crowd management and crowd control, which offered an opportunity for this study. The researcher aimed to narrow the gap within the literature and gain a better understanding of the current crowd management and crowd control strategies used and how they specifically maximise crowd safety. The results gathered and evaluated should allow event managers to gain the knowledge necessary to maximise crowd safety. Overall, the aim of this study was to critically explore whether the crowd management and control strategies currently applied in the live music event industry maximise crowd safety. It was predicted the best results for the study would be achieved through a qualitative approach as more detailed, meaningful responses would be gathered. Data was collected through the use of semi-structured interviews with industry experts in crowd management and control for live music events. The study shows that overall the current strategies applied within the live music industry do maximise crowd safety. However it has been noted that respondents indicated that the strategies used within the live music event industry can always be improved upon by reflecting on previous event's crowd issues which is not currently happening to further maximise crowd safety.