Author Posts

November 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

“An event at which the audience comprises 5,000 or more people shall be an event prescribed for the purposes of section 230 of the Act.”

This probably won’t be a popular opinion but I firmly believe that the 5,000+ demarcation regarding whether an event needs a licence or not is outdated and very risky for all involved.  I believe it should be based on a risk assessment, e.g. a 6,000 person outdoor concert on a main street in a town / city is not comparable as far as risks are concerned with a 4,999 capacity weekend long camping festival.

The issues and problems that can arise at the camping festival can put far more pressure on public services such as an Garda Siochana, Fire and Ambulance services. There is certainly the need for full Statutory Agencies and stakeholders consultation, meetings and debriefings.  Through research I have found that some Agencies haven’t been made aware of these types of events even taking due to the lack of any type of formal process and, when something has gone wrong, they simply didn’t have the resources on hand to deal with it.

From the organisers perspective, the level of detail and planning that is required for a licensed event should be applied to these types (and many more) of events, if only from a risk management perspective.

November 9, 2014 at 9:06 pm

What about the exemption for sporting events – surely an event such as a mini marathon with a participant number of 40,000 and with fringe activity etc. should be liable to licensing. However the mini marathon that takes place in Dublin is subject to a pretty robust approval process that includes all of the process that takes place under event licensing, does not require the ad notification in the paper re applying for approval but does require ad for road closures etc. One has to recall the reasons that event licensing was introduced initially to appreciate that the figure of 5k is not a very scientifically arrived at one. My view is that if the issue is safety then the types of events requiring licensing needs to be revisited as Elaine mentions,  in the context of the level of risk associated with same. If for example an incident that panicked people occurred at the start of the mini marathon when all 40,000 runners were at or near the starting point,  the risk of crush and injury from same would potentially be far greater than for example if there was a similar type incident at say a concert for 10,000 at Slane. With the emergence of an event approval process outside of event licensing in more and more local authorities, is event licensing  as a process outdated or should all event approvals be processed via the event licensing process? There is currently a dual process but based on audience numbers and not safety or level of risk and that is a key weakness/deficit in the system.  Also what is interesting is if sporting events are exempt from event licensing,  is any alternative event approval process that  such an event  is requested to participate in legally binding or appropriate?