The 10 Commandments of Live Event Safety

It wasn’t about what was said at the panel, it was about what was handed out.

The panelists, with the help of the likes of Red Light Management’s Stuart Ross, have formed the Event Safety Alliance and put together a simple, three-page paper on event safety, which was distributed around the room.

Although the panelists made a point of not addressing specific events of the past summer, such as the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, those loomed large.

The paper addresses very simple requirements for compliance and an Operations Management Plan.

Some quick highlights:

On wind, “A specified individual responsible for monitoring on site conditions and forecasted conditions must be identified prior to event.”

On cancellation, “The roof owner, Production Manager, Promoter or state/local authorities can make the final decision to suspend the event if the public safety is jeopardized for any reason.” Assembly drawings, etc., must include “positions and connections for all structural elements.”

Simple stuff, but it adds consistency to an inconsistent industry. As was said in the panel, there should be Certified Promoters – to which Cheap Trick manager Dave Frey quipped, “a lot of promoters are certified.” (Frey showed a bolt he keeps in his pocket – a token from the stage collapse in Ottawa that nearly killed him and his clients).

“These three pages, they look like nothing,” attorney Steve Adelman said. “But it’s important to understand what it is and what it is intended to do. As a recipient, I had no hand in drafting it, but as an attorney, I would have a very large hand in determining if it is reasonable for everybody. Whether you perform reasonably under the circumstances is actually the legal standard you are all held to.”

Adelman noted it was divided into two pieces, with technical points on the first two pages. There has to be a plan for all the foreseeable hazards that may occur at the venue, and the first two pages guide the reader through it.

“The second part, on page three, is the part that I as an attorney am fascinated with, which is the responsibility for suspension or cancellation of an event. … It is an attempt to give you guidance, to help you ask the questions about who would be responsible for dealing with an emergency that you have identified by the plan.”

It’s important to pay attention to the three pages, and ask the questions posed by the document.

“When the lawyer is telling you that, you ought to take it seriously,” Adelman said. “I do fine with risk management. That puts food on my table. But the real money for lawyers is litigation. So if you want me to have a nicer car or send my daughter to a better private school, do nothing.”

The paper is available at


See Also: Pollstar Live! Panel Coverage