On December 3, 1979, rock group The Who started to heat up at the old Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati. Fans who were waiting outside the hall rushed to the entrances thinking the concert had started. Eleven people were crushed to death.
Back then, and apparently now some 40 years later, tickets didn’t guarantee reserved seats, so the first people got the best seats. Following the tragedy, festival seats were banned. It returned as music festivals, such as Coachella or Lollapalooza or Astroworld, gained popularity.
It’s time to rethink seating at music festivals.
This idea of ââthe past comes from the fact that 10 people died as a result of the event on November 5, where crowds rushed to the stage as rapper Travis Scott started his set at the third annual Astroworld festival in Houston.
It’s time for a young generation of festival-goers, who may never have heard of Cincinnati, to demand that concert planners put the safety of crowds before economic profits. The promoters have already been made aware of this, and we recognize that they will argue that it is difficult to plan fan impulsive actions. But inclusive pre-planning security for a multitude of scenarios is not impossible when it comes to a closed venue with specific limits.
Barriers can be installed to keep fans in safer and better controlled areas. Canceling a concert after its start should be the role of professional security experts, never of an artist contracted to end a performance. More security can be put in place where crowds might rush. And the most obvious: once again ban the festival sitting (or standing).
Protocols, of course, do not prevent disasters. Spectators must accept responsibility for falling out with each other; they must learn to escape overwhelming crowds. They need to know where the exits are. And maybe they should be alert enough to stay out of areas of potential danger.
Security measures vary from location to location and state to state. Some events do little more than advise fans to âstay cool,â like Lollapalooza does.
If you find yourself in a crowd surge, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you don’t try to resist the crowd’s momentum. It is safer to travel with the current. When there is a lull in movement, it is the chance to come out moving diagonally.
If clients are stuck in a crowd or a scramble, keep your hands in front of your chest like a boxer – this leaves room for the lungs to continue to function. Try to stay upright, but if you fall, protect yourself by curling up. Locate emergency exits and organize a place to meet friends if you separate.
However, promoters must primarily take charge or be forced to take charge by legislatures. Consider this rule: no standing room only. Period. Nothing. If a patron has paid money to attend a concert, they must have a seat. Simple. We learned about it in 1979 during the Cincinnati disaster.
A concert ticket to what should be an evening of entertainment shouldn’t turn into a death sentence.