4.1 An Event Controller should be appointed by the Promoter for each concert. S/he should be of sufficient competence, status and authority to take full responsibility on the day of the event for all matters relating to the event including safety at the site. S/he should be easily identifiable by her/his clothing, and should be known to staff and Gardaí on duty at the event. S/he will be assisted inside the stadium by the Gardaí, Stewards and all other personnel, whether paid or voluntary, but will retain control unless a serious emergency occurs, at which time s/he will hand over responsibility to the Emergency Controller (See Appendix A). S/he should, at all times, be in contact with the Event Safety Officer, the Chief Steward and the Emergency Services.
4.2 Among the responsibilities of the Event Controller are:-
(i) having overall responsibility for the management of the event;
(ii) being involved in the planning meetings with the relevant authorities. i.e., Local Authority, Gardaí, Health Board,etc.;
(iii) ensuring the provision of adequate personnel for the event (stewards, gatesmen, stilesmen, etc.) including first-aid and medical personnel:
(iv) remaining at the Central Control Room before, during and immediately after an event; and
(v) conducting a post event meeting on the event and preparing a resulting report.
The Promoter should also appoint a Deputy Event Controller of equal status and competence to the Event Controller.
All staff should be aware of the location of the Central Control Room, know the identity of the Event Controller and be familiar with the lines of communication.
Event Safety Officer
4.3 An Event Safety Officer should be appointed by the Promoter of the concert in respect of each event. S/he should have sufficient status, competence and authority to take sole responsibility for safety.
S/he should ensure that the safety details and conditions agreed for the holding of the concert are implemented and that clearly defined terms of reference for her/his post should be set out in the Promoter’s brief. S/he should be present on the site when the stage, barriers and other temporary structures are being erected to ensure that work, materials and site layout and safety arrangements are in accordance with specifications and agreements, in so far as they impinge on safety matters.
The Event Safety officer must:
(i) be present at all planning meetings;
(ii) act as co-ordinator on behalf of the Promoter;
(iii) act as co-ordinator of the technical aspects of the arrangements insofar as they impinge on safety matters;
(iv) attend the event itself to evaluate the efficiency of structural and safety arrangements;
(v) pay particular attention to the pit area immediately in front of the stage;
(vi) monitor first-aid and rescue tactics for distressed patrons;
(vii) take any necessary action to alleviate any perceived risks; and
(viii) recommend emergency procedures to be initiated.
It is very important to evaluate the effectiveness of the safety arrangements for the event, particularly at the front of stage zone. The Event Safety Officer must assert her/his authority in this area. By being central to all the pre-event arrangements and maintaining an active presence at the site during the build-up to the event and on the day of the event, s/he can ensure that arrangements are adhered to and that public safety has a high profile in the eyes of the Promoter. 1
4.4 If the event is taking place in a recognised sports ground the Event Safety officer should liaise with the Ground Safety Officer (as appointed by Ground Management).
4.5 Effective site management is an essential element in achieving safety. The Event Safety Officer should constantly seek to improve standards. S/he should have a direct reporting responsibility to the Promoter and the Event Controller.
4.6 A Chief Steward reporting to the Event Controller should be appointed to supervise the stewarding arrangements. To facilitate such arrangements the venue should be divided into different zones. The key to good stewarding is the appointment of a Supervisory Steward for each zone. The different zones with the names of the Supervisory Stewards should be shown on a map. (See Paragraph 13.3).
4.7 Stewards under the control of a Supervisory Steward should be posted in teams of up to 10 depending on the circumstances concerned so that they can act as a team under control from a central point. They should have effective communication with the Central Control Room and have loud-hailers for use in an emergency. Every steward and Supervisory Steward should have a well-defined role with a clear understanding of her/his responsibilities and reporting function within the management structure. This should be set out in writing supported by a chart indicating direct responsibilities and reporting arrangements which should be available to all involved in organising the event. (See Chapter 13).
4.8 If professional security firms are employed they must work under the control of the Chief Steward. Their role must be clearly defined within the overall stewarding/ management structure.
4.9 Recommendations contained in the Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds 2; relating to Ground Regulations (for events held in sports grounds) and to fire safety also apply to pop concerts held in open sites. Relevant provisions of the Code of Practice for the Management of Fire Safety in Places of Assembly 3; and of the Code of Practice for Fire Safety of Furnishings and Fittings in Places of Assembly 4; will also apply.
Central Control Room
4.10 A Central Control Room should be provided, from which the communication systems should operate, commanding direct views of the site, supported by closed circuit television. It should be spacious, sound-proofed and properly equipped. The stage, all areas of spectator viewing, circulation areas as well as entry and exit areas and approaches to the site should be included in the view. Closed circuit television cameras should have a recording facility.
4.11 It is desirable that this Central Control Room should be shared with the Gardaí who require similar facilities. If this is not possible separate Control rooms should be provided and should be situated as close as possible to each other and have direct communication between both control points. On open sites suitable provision should be made for temporary facilities to house a Central Control Room.
4.12 The Central Control Room should contain the facility to communicate quickly with staff, including stage management, the public and the emergency services. The Event Controller and her/his staff should be responsible for the operation of the communications system. Access to the Central Control Room should be strictly controlled and limited to the staff of the Event Controller and the Senior Garda Officer.
4.13 There should be inter-communication between the Central Control Room, the emergency services on site, all turnstiles or banks of turnstiles and all entry and exit gates used by the public. Metering or other systems to record all admissions should be put in place to ensure that ground capacities are not exceeded. Arrangements should be made for the Central Control Room and the Gardaí to be kept informed of the number of spectators being admitted. A suggested Communications Scheme is contained in Appendix B.
Role of Gardaí
4.14 The role of the Gardaí is set out in Chapter 3 of the Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds 2; and subject to modifications, is also appropriate for pop concerts. Gardaí are engaged in policing inside the ground in accordance with prepared plans and arrangements made by the Promoter and they should have access to all parts of the ground if the need arises. The Senior Garda Officer and the Event Controller must maintain close and constant contact with each other at all times. This would provide immediate information of any potential difficulties arising.
Local Authority Involvement
4.15 Local Authorities have a role in the following areas in the organisation and planning of Pop Concerts:-
(i) development control (PIanning Acts);
(ii) fire (fire-prevention, fire-fighting);
(iii) temporary structures;
(iv) sanitary provisions;
(vi) casual trading areas;
(viii) water and sewerage; and
(ix) litter control outside the venue.
Health Board Involvement
4.16 The role of the Health Board is to:-
(i) maintain normal emergency medical and ambulance cover for the local resident population;
(ii) provide medical, ambulance and first-aid cover for all participants;
(iii) be prepared to respond to a major accident;
(iv) advise on all health matters including food hygiene and to monitor and implement the relevant statutory regulations;
(v) provide all health services as outlined in the Major Emergency Plan.
- Shaughnessy, J. Paper presented at Safe – T91, International Conference in Safety and Live Entertainment, London, 1991.
- Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds, Stationery Office, Dublin, 1996.
- Code of Practice for the Management of Fire Safety in Places of Assembly, Stationery Office, Dublin, 1991.
- Code of Practice for Fire Safety of Furnishings and Fittings in Places of Assembly, Stationery Office, Dublin, 1989.