Published On: Wed, Jul 15th, 2015

Festival Season Brings Up Questions Of Safety & Security

The summer is here and for some people that means just one thing: festival season! Music festivals are a rite of passage for many teenagers, and a big moment in the calendar. Since the dawn of iconic festivals like Woodstock and Isle of Wight, the industry has grown to staggering levels. With festivals taking place every weekend across America and Europe, the sheer numbers of festival-goers is rising. Of course, that brings one big question to the foreground. What are the authorities doing about festival safety?

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Festivals are notoriously a weekend to let loose. The environment opens up a wealth of potential safety concerns including alcohol abuse, crime, and crushing. Over the last few years, a number of high-profile festivals have come under fire from authority figures. With theft, knife-crime, and deaths not uncommon at festivals around the world, this year’s events are under scrutiny. We took a deeper look into the safety provisions in place for this year’s events.

The first major concern here is the sheer number of tickets sold. festivals have grown larger than ever in the last decade, accommodating more and more people. Some of the biggest festivals have already moved to larger sites and introduced bigger stages. While this is great for ticket sales, it’s bad news for safety. The increased risk of crushing has become a significant concern. A number of high-profile sets were cut short last year as a result of squashing.

In an attempt to curb this problem, festivals have limited their numbers and introduced more crowd barriers. By sectioning off parts of the crowd, they can control the numbers in front of the stage. It remains to be seen whether this technique will work. However, many festivals are increasing their number of security guards to help enforce these rules.

Of course, the catalyst for danger here is alcohol and drug abuse. Festivals are notorious for illegal substances and copious alcohol use. All festivals now have a zero tolerance approach to drugs, but inevitably it’s tough to police. In terms of alcohol, it is now prohibited to bring your own drinks onto the festival site. Of course, alcohol can be bought within the grounds, and measures are taken to reduce the overall consumption.

In the festival environment, personal crime is rife. People tend to carry and store large amounts of cash to fund the weekend, and it is easily stolen. Mobile phones and other valuables are also high targets for thieves. Festivals are attempting to crack down on this by offering strict advice to campers. They’re also increasing patrols in camping areas. Policing this is a dangerous job, but it’s helping to keep festivals more secure. They suggest keeping valuables in locked containers and hidden inside their tents. They also advise staying with a group of friends and monitoring suspicious behaviour in the campsite.

Finally, heat-stroke is a very real problem at festivals, with a number of related deaths annually. Exhaustion, dehydration, and high temperatures combine to create a deadly cocktail. Festivals are advising punters to drink plenty of water and, of course, limit the alcohol intake.

With a sensible approach, a festival is a fantastic experience, and you’ll leave with plenty of memories. Just remember to follow the guides and stay safe.