Temporary Stands, Stages and other Structures
25.1 Guidance on temporary structures is contained in Chapter 14 of the Code of Practice for Safety in Sports Grounds. 1
25.2 The procedures outlined therein in relation to structural design, siting, erection, management during use and dismantling should be strictly adhered to.
25.3 It is difficult to mix seating and standing accommodation successfully on the pitch area. The provision of seats can lead to patrons standing behind, and migrating into, the seated area in front with resultant confrontation between patrons. It is, therefore recommended that the pitch be either all seated or all-standing. When temporary seating is used at a concert it will be necessary to ensure that all seats are adequately fixed with ground anchors or other method and fixed in position following consultation with the Local Authority. A layout plan of the seating, including passageways and exits, must be prepared in consultation with the Local Authority.
25.4 Dressing rooms should be provided with washing and toilet facilities and should he readily accessible to the stage. Marquees, tents, caravans or portacabins can, in certain circumstances, be used as dressing rooms and their siting, construction and erection should be decided in consultation with the Local Authority. Suitable means of escape should he provided in the event of fire or other emergencies. Dressing rooms should not be positioned in such a manner as to cause obstruction or impede safe evacuation during an emergency.
Tents and Marquees
25.5 Guidance is contained in Paragraphs 14.22 – 14.30 of the Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds 1. The purpose of the proposed tents and marquees must be assessed and a suitable design provided in order to meet the appropriate flammability standard. Hazards such as instability, tripping over guide ropes, etc., must be taken into consideration in the preparation of safety arrangements. The spacing between portacabins, caravans, catering concessions and other structures should be at least 6 metres. For large tents and marquees this distance should be increased to 12 metres so that a fire starting in one such structure cannot spread to adjacent structures.
Sale of Alcohol (General)
25.6 Enforcement of the liquor licensing laws is a matter for the Garda Síochána. Licensees should co-operate with Gardaí in drawing up plans for the preservation of public order in so far as the supply and consumption of intoxicating liquor during events is concerned. Areas of mutual interest may include voluntarily closing premises during certain periods,
re-opening premises, prevention of under-age drinking, disposable drinking utensils, etc.
25.7 A Judge of the District Court has power under the provisions of Section 19 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1927 2 to order the closing of premises licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor in the interest of public peace and order if such a course is expedient.
Sale of Alcohol at the Venue
25.8 A view generally put forward is that if alcohol is on sale within the venue less drinking before the event is encouraged and this may lead to less drinking overall. Each event must be considered on its merits and consideration should be given to the special circumstances and type of crowd anticipated. Patrons should not be allowed to bring alcohol into the venue but, subject to compliance with the licensing laws, alcohol could be sold there. The practice of patrons consuming alcohol in the immediate environs of the venue should be discouraged. In particular, a strict system of control on the sale of alcohol should be in place to prevent sale or supply by others to underage persons. The promoter has responsibility to ensure that these controls are in place and functioning.
25.9 Drinks should he served only in plastic beakers and cups. Such containers may have plastic film or paper lids unless the lid enables the container to be used as a missile. In such cases the lid shall be removed at point of sale. Only stout, beer and soft drinks should be sold. No spirits should be sold. Proper litter disposal facilities should be provided convenient to the point of sale of alcohol.
25.10 It will be necessary to apply to the District Court for an Occasional Licence authorising the holder of an On-Licence to sell intoxicating liquor at a place which is not licensed for such sale. Attention is directed to the provisions of Section 11 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1962, 3 governing the grant of occasional licences.
25.11 Any covers used to protect the pitch should be flame retardant, properly secured and should be installed in a manner that will prevent trip hazards.
25.12 Materials used to secure covers should be such that they may not be used as missiles. The covering must also be firm and impossible to remove or interfere with so that danger to patrons can be avoided.
25.13 Promoters of concerts and owners of concert sites, campsites, car parks as well as other private property to which the general public have access, have a responsibility to protect their customers as far as is reasonably practical from personal violations such as physical assaults, theft and drug abuse, including drug trafficking. This can be achieved through the provision of an adequate number of properly trained stewards.
Plans on crime prevention should be prepared beforehand in conjunction with the Gardaí covering all aspects of security on campsites, concert sites, car parks etc. It is not sufficient to post up disclaimer notices on such sites warning patrons that owners can accept no responsibility for damage to or loss of property.
25.14 In recent years a practice has developed whereby light aircraft and helicopters fly over concert sites while major events are underway, trailing advertising or promotional banners. This could be potentially hazardous for crowds attending these events. Any mishap with an aircraft could lead to major casualties in the site due to the numbers congregated in a relatively confined area thereby resulting in a totally avoidable major emergency. Such fly-overs should be prohibited in the interests of public safety. The use of large advertising balloons directly over sites or anchored to adjoining land could, if they collapsed, lead to serious crowd panic and consequently, should be prohibited. While the banning of flights over sports grounds or concert sites is a matter for the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications, the banning of large balloons, positioned in or over the site is under the control of the Promoter.
1. Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds, Stationery Office, Dublin, 1996.
2. Intoxicating Liquor Act (Section 19), 1927, Stationery Office, Dublin.
3. Intoxicating Liquor Act (Section 11), 1962, Stationery Office, Dublin.