Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Live and dangerous: the health and safety issues around live shows

There’s one kind of story which is sadly becoming all too familiar on the live music beat. The recent fatalities at a Steve Aoki show in Madrid and a Linkin Park show in Cape Town show that the health and …

Fri, Nov 16, 2012, 10:21

   

There’s one kind of story which is sadly becoming all too familiar on the live music beat. The recent fatalities at a Steve Aoki show in Madrid and a Linkin Park show in Cape Town show that the health and safety concerns around live music events are not something to be taken lightly.

The reports from Madrid cite gig-goers talking about slack security and over-crowding at the 12,000-capacity arena. In the wake of the event, official reports from 2006 and 2010 were uncovered which criticised the venue’s health and safety provisions.

In Cape Town, it was the collapse of an advertising hoarding erected by tour sponsor Lucozade in the parking area outside the venue which led to one death and many injuries. Lucozade has subsequently withdrawn their sponsorship.

These incidents follow on from summer 2011 when deaths occurred at Belgium’s Pukkelpop festival and a Sugarland show at the Indiana State Fair. Stage collapses occurred in 2011 at shows by Cheap Trick and the Flaming Lips, while a stage collapse at a Radiohead show in Toronto last June caused the death of a member of the band’s crew.

Health and safety and security issues will not be news to Irish music fans, following the brouhaha around last summer’s Swedish House Mafia show in the Phoenix Park or the problems which marred the Oasis show in Slane in June 2009.

While may fans may feel that some security measures are over-zealous and unncessary, it should be remembered that the alternative is not very wholesome at all. Irish promoters of all sizes and stripes have a good track record when it comes to health and safety at live shows so let’s hope that’s one area which isn’t cut back to save costs in the future.