Pollstar Live! Worst-Case Scenario Survival
Rather than a recap of the panel, its participants would likely prefer we ask the following of the reader: go to Eventsafetyalliance.org, register, download the Event Safety Guide, and participate in its improvement.
And that’s it. Audience member Don Graham of
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Moderator Stuart Ross began by listing the recent, and increasing, event accidents, or near accidents.
“When one of these completely avoidable situations occurs, it’s going to be our Newtown. Citizens will rightly demand from their elected officials, ‘How could this have happened? Why didn’t you do something about it?’ And the knee-jerk reaction will be some sort of government regulation. I want a way where we can work with our government officials to show them how responsible we can be.”
The Event Safety Alliance is an ad hoc organization with approximately 600 members composed of insurers, suppliers, IATSE members, weather officials and others. It released its Event Safety Guide last year, and is modifying it as living document. Jim Digby, production manager for
On the panel was Charlie Hernandez, production manager for Farm Aid and
The guide itself mirrors the U.K.’s “purple guide,” the manual of safety best practices born from the tragic crowd deaths at 1988’s Monsters of Rock festival. Using the U.S. version – first presented at last year’s conference – could go a long way toward keeping the government regulations at bay.
“I’ve spent most of my life in government,” Bettenhausen said. “You don’t want it in our business.” There are about 1,200 new laws in California and 40,000 nationwide annually, he noted.
“There are more than enough laws on the books for disasters,” he said. “The problem is awareness. We owe it to the fans to be safe. It’s part of the ticket price to have safe, secure events. If we don’t we’ll have 50,000 new regulations on our tours.”
The guide should go a long way toward eliminated the “cowboy culture” in the industry, as was noted.
“All agents and managers care about the safety of their clients,” Reinhold said. Adhering to these guidelines would have a “trickle down effect,” and agencies wouldn’t require language in their contracts to increase safety measures because they’re already in place.