A Crowd Safety Lesson From Lollapalooza

A Crowd Safety Lesson From Lollapalooza

bad weather & crowd safety

Last week, line-up for Lollapalooza 2013 was made known. And along with music festival’s line-up comes a candid admission about crowd safety stemming from Lollapalooza 2012. The weather related safety lesson from last year’s event is applicable to any outdoor event no matter the crowd size.

A Crowd Safety Lesson

Music critic Greg Kot has just published an update on Lollapalooza 2013 in his column for the Chicago Tribune titled Lollapalooza on way to sellout; day-by-day lineups set. Kot writes of the very successful advance ticket sale the popular music festival is seeing, with some 80,000 3-day passes having been sold in just three hours.

Kot also provides more information about the talent scheduled to appear at Lollapalooza 2013 (List is at the end of this post). For the first time ever, The Cure will perform on one of Lollapalooza’s six stages, spread across Chicago’s Grant Park.

Big ticket sales and beloved bands cited in Kot’s article are great news, but more noteworthy, at least for anyone who operates an outdoor, is a candid admission made by the event’s promoter, Charlie Jones.

Jones speaks of the weather related crowd safety issue that occurred during last year’s Lollapalooza. In 2012 a powerful storm moved into the area forcing a mass evacuation.

Grant Park was cleared of concertgoers before the storm hit, and the festival was able to resume a few hours later with only a few bands’ performances being canceled. But not all security personnel were clear on where to direct patrons as they exited the park; fans should have been directed to Grant Park parking garages for safety, but most ended up flooding downtown streets and buildings while waiting out the storm.

Jones acknowledges that having patrons standing in the streets during a thunderstorm is less than optimal.

It’s difficult to educate every single employee on all policies ahead of time. It’s up to us to come up with better methods for communicating where people need to go, whether it’s through the public address system, video screens or social media.

Charlie Jones’ commitment to improving Lollapalooza 2013 is to be commended. The issue at Lollapalooza 2012 should serve as a reminder that evacuation planning must be comprehensive and not limited to merely having everyone vacate the area. Outdoor event of any size must consider where everyone can safely escape a severe thunderstorm or tornado should the need arise.

Crowd safety is of tantamount importance for every event, indoors or out.

The ThunderTix plan for festival operators has the tools you need to respond to fast changing conditions, be it a last minute booking or to reschedule a weather cancelled event. If you do end up having to cancel an event and refund the tickets, we let let’s you set the refund terms. No matter the circumstance the ThunderTix team is here to help you and your event succeed - rain or shine.

Do you have a story to tell about a weather related impact on your event? Please share in the comments below so that others may gain from your experience.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons