How can you stay safe during a music festival?

Key Takeaways

  • “The best thing you can do is have that situation awareness,” said Stephen Wood, an extreme medicine expert at Northeastern University.

By Erin Kayata

Boston Calling usually marks the end of its three-day run by thanking attendees. But this year the music festival organizers issued an apology for creating a situation in which many attendees said they felt unsafe.

People at this year’s festival complained of overcrowding during Sunday’s shows. With several big-name acts planned back to back, attendees said they got stuck in a crowd of people there to see Chappell Roan, Megan Thee Stallion, Hozier, and The Killers. There were over 400 medical events during Sunday’s concerts, which made up half the total calls from the three-day event.

Safety has always been an issue when it comes to music performances, according to Andrew Mall, an associate music professor at Northeastern University. Whether it be an outdoor concert, a traveling event like Lilith Fair in the ’90s, or the destination festivals of today, organizers have had to contend with issues like crowd crush, equipment collapse, fires, interpersonal violence and shootings.

“There’s no way to be 100 percent safe as a festival-goer,” Mall said. “Just like there’s no way to be 100 percent safe at a concert or walking your dog around the block.”

One of the top issues specifically with festivals is the lack of coordination between the agencies involved, said Stephen Wood, director of the extreme medicine certificate program at Northeastern. Between different police and EMS departments and private security, there’s often not a unified communications plan on what to do in case of an emergency.

Continue reading at Northeastern Global News.