19. Public Address System

19.1 Guidelines on a Public Address System are contained in Chapter 16 of the Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds. 1
A separate public address system from that used by the artist(s) must be provided.

19.2 It is imperative that both systems be under the control of the Promoters at all times during the event. Trained announcers are required to issue warnings if necessary. There should be due liaison and contact between the Promoter and the Gardaí. If the senior Garda Officer present considers there is a serious emergency and a risk to life, he can direct the Promoter to override the Artists’ sound system so that the emergency notice can be issued by the announcer. Other messages can await the end of a particular act.

19.3 Agreement should be reached in advance regarding the use of the public address system. Persons making the emergency announcements should work from a prepared script and be experienced in making such announcements. Performers should not be requested to make emergency announcements but their assistance may he enlisted for calming the crowd. An experienced M.C. would be the most appropriate person to issue such announcements.

19.4 The public address system should be controlled from a central point and the auxiliary power supply arrangements should be such as to ensure operation within five seconds of the failure of the main electrical supply. Wiring for the system should be routed through areas of low fire risk and should be protected against mechanical damage and interference by unauthorised persons. Wiring should be installed in accordance with I.S. 3218. 2 Reference should be made also to BS 7443. 3

19.5 An effective public address system will be of benefit in the smooth running of the organisation at the concert site and also in locating missing people and making emergency contact with first-aid or other urgently required personnel. A video screen could be used for this purpose.

19.6 An agreed number of loud-hailers should be provided as a fail-safe measure.


1. Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds, Stationery Office, Dublin, 1996.
2. I.S. 3218: 1989, Code of Practice for Fire Detection and Alarm Systems for Buildings – System Design, Installation and Servicing, National Standards Authority of Ireland, Dublin.
3. BS 7443: 1991, Sound systems for emergency purposes, British Standards Institution, London.