Interested in outdoor security for concerts and festivals in Alberta or British Columbia, Canada? The weather is warming up and the pandemic is winding down. It’s no surprise that outdoor concerts are making a huge comeback in Edmonton and other cities in western Canada this summer. From country music jamborees to EDM raves, hundreds of shows are scheduled for the season. Alberta and British Columbia’s biggest outdoor venues are booking up. And highly-trained security teams are needed now more than ever.
Many venues are taking this opportunity to start fresh and re-evaluate their security needs and protocols. This is especially true now as recent tragedies have put the spotlight on concert security. Incidents like the Astroworld Festival tragedy highlight the gaps in outdoor concert security. Everyone from promoters to the concertgoers themselves are realising just how important it is to have a capable security team. These teams need to have the experience to handle any situation that arises quickly and efficiently.
Let’s Make Alberta an Outdoor Concert Destination
Alberta’s outdoor concert and festival scene is experiencing a major resurgence. Pandemic restrictions are over. Large gatherings have become safe again. Iconic venues like the Badlands Amphitheatre and Prince’s Island Park are all gearing up for a summer of festivities. After a few quiet years, these spots are aspiring to bring live music fans back to the festival life. Before the pandemic, Edmonton and the greater Alberta area were essential tour stops for bands and musicians of all genres. In 2019 alone, a thousand-plus concerts took place in the Edmonton area. That included welcoming superstars like Ariana Grande, Elton John, and the Backstreet Boys. But also included thriving local scenes filled with niche genres like indie rock and alternative country.
Gallagher Park is a particularly notable venue in Edmonton known for its annual Folk Music Festival. This event attracts folk music lovers from all over the globe every August. Over 13,000 attendees annually flock to hear acclaimed headliners like Joni Mitchell, David Byrne, and Van Morrison. Fans of the festival are thrilled for its return in 2022. And with a track record of tickets selling out every year since 1994, it promises to continue to thrive. Venues and concert organisers realise that for events like these, their security has to be at the top of their game. That includes state-of-the-art techniques and training to keep everyone safe and happy.
What are the biggest outdoor safety concerns for concerts?
Everyone loves a good music festival in the open air. But it can take a lot more attention and forethought than you might think to keep them running smoothly. The outdoors are unpredictable. Adding in a crowd of even a few hundred people can create the perfect storm of potentially unsafe conditions. While creating a security plan, it’s important to take into consideration some of the biggest current safety concerns:
1. Environmental factors.
Whether rain or shine, keeping a close eye on the weather is key to keeping everyone safe during an outdoor event. Something as innocuous as a small storm rolling through can cause a power outage or electrical hazards to equipment. Even just rain can turn festival grounds from walk-able green pastures to treacherously slippery puddles of mud in no time. In the summertime, excessive heat can also easily create dangerous situations at a concert outdoors. Heatstroke and dehydration are very real and valid things to take into consideration on any hot day spent outside. Being in large, isolated moving crowds like those close to a stage can exacerbate these dangers. This can quickly speed up the process of heat exhaustion.
2. Overcrowding/crowd surges.
Music festivals are only getting more popular, and the crowds are only getting larger. Take for example the wildly popular Escapade Music Festival. It’s an annual EDM celebration in Ottawa. And it gained 30,000 new attendees in just its second year running. Without the right kind of control, these crowds of thousands can become major hazards and lead to incidents like crowd crushes and surges. In an instant, overcrowding can create chaos and lead to injuries and death without proper control measures.
3. Violent disputes/disturbances and potential criminal behaviour.
The majority of people go to festivals to enjoy the music and have a good time. But there will always be a handful of attendees who attempt to steal, start fights, or disturb the peace. While random acts of physical violence aren’t as common, they’re not unheard of. In 2016, a man was stabbed by a random attacker at Pemberton Music Festival in B.C. An attack like this may have a relatively low chance of occurring. The chances someone could be injured are always elevated in a larger crowd.
Festivals can be overwhelming environments at times. And it’s easy enough for a simple argument between two people to dissolve into something that requires intervention. Concertgoers can quickly become at odds with each other in certain situations like an artist cancellations or schedule change. No matter how low the chances are of a violent event happening, the potential for danger always exists.
4. Alcohol/drug use and medical emergencies.
Most music festivals prohibit drug use and only have specific bar areas for supervised alcohol consumption. It’s still possible for these substances to create hazards specific to the unfamiliar environment of a music festival. No matter how strict the regulations are, there’s always a possibility of someone taking a mystery drug. That can lead to them finding themselves in need of help in the middle of a crowd. A drink could become spiked or someone could simply over consume.
Overdoses are sadly also a real and serious risk. The Pemberton Music Festival’s own overdose crisis led them to begin equipping them medical team with naloxone, an overdose antidote. They also now include amnesty stations where concertgoers can discreetly dispose of banned substances. Overdoses are a major safety concern at outdoor concerts. But being aware of them, how they work, and how they can be potentially reversed can easily prevent tragedy.
Why is It Important to have proper security at your outdoor show?
There’s a lot of potential for things to go wrong at a large outdoor event like a music festival. When you employ a properly trained security team, potential risks and threats can be effectively managed. The right security team can keep the music going and everyone feeling safe. A high quality team ensures that the venue and organisers are protected from any potential lawsuits. They can neutralise anything that could be a liability hazard before it happens. Security teams, trained up to industry standards, are typically a requirement of insurance providers. As an organiser, keeping your guests safe, happy, and satisfied is integral to your success.
CE Security Can Help Protect Your Outdoor Music Event
At CE Security & Consulting, we use nothing but the industry’s best technology, techniques, and training to ensure that your event is the best that it can be. All of the teams at CE Security are CPR and First Aid certified. We employ extensive training in crowd control measures, conflict resolution, and immediate disturbance response.
And because everyone’s situation is different, CE Security services are extremely customizable. We can create a plan of action that’s just right for your event, no matter how unique. Security skills employed by our teams, like creating barricades and controlling venue access, may be essential parts of keeping things moving and organised. But we can also offer specialised services like talent protection or perimeter patrols.
Our goal is to make sure we take all risks into consideration before they become issues and deal with them effectively in a way that ensures the safety and comfort of everyone involved, from the concertgoers to the backstage assistants. If you’re hosting an event this summer, there’s no better choice than our professional teams at CE Security & Consulting for the highest quality security services there are today.