Alerting on mobile screens
Fast and wide communication to festival-goers proved more vital than ever at Pukkelpop 12 years ago.
In 2017, the National Crisis Center launched the BE-Alert alert system to notify the public during emergencies via text message, e-mail or phone call. Since recently, thanks to an innovative technology, BE-Alert has also been able to send alert messages to digital bulletin boards.
"BE-Alert is one of the most efficient communication tools during an emergency." states Mayor of Hasselt Steven Vandeput. "It allows you to quickly inform festival-goers of the facts and give clear recommendations for action. This way, we can hopefully prevent further calamity. In Hasselt, we have learned clear lessons from the past."
Mobile screens can also be used at events to alert the public. That way, local governments can reach as many people as possible – and thus festival-goers as well. In addition to a classical alert message over text, local authorities can additionally display important information about safety measures in the event of an emergency on screens on the grounds.
Annelies Verlinden, Minister of the Interior: "In the event of emergencies, it's important to get the right information to people very quickly. That way, we can ensure that the public does not have to rely on information that is incomplete or unclear. At the same time, we can also provide the necessary instructions for ensuring maximum safety.
A great many people can be reached 24/7 via their smartphones, but it's important to be able to communicate via other channels at large events. Because that's precisely when visitors might like to take a break from daily smartphone habits, and in panic situations, the power of clear and highly visible announcements and instructions on large information screens for everyone cannot be underestimated. We are taking a new step today with BE-Alert to inform, assist and thus make everyone more resilient to emergencies as well and as quickly as possible."
Jos Lantmeeters, governor of Limburg: "Limburg was the first province where all municipalities joined BE-Alert. It is great that this system, which has already proved its worth on several occasions, is now also being tested at one of the biggest events in Limburg."
Safety is priority number 1
Frederik Luyten, Pukkelpop spokesman: "The safety of our visitors, crew, local residents and, of course, artists is always our number 1 priority. With a total of about 80,000 people, Pukkelpop is a small town that requires a great deal of structure and planning, where a proper communication flow is key. So it goes without saying that we can value an initiative like BE-Alert. If we can do our part to optimise the safety and general well-being of event or festival visitors this way, we are delighted to do so.”
Bart Raeymaekers, Director-General of the National Crisis Center: "Pukkelpop makes safety a major priority. Therefore, they are an ideal partner for conducting this test with. We are thus making our BE-Alert system more robust and efficient for the future."
The Safe Group, the company that manages the screens at the festival, is integrating this BE-Alert functionality into its crowd control software SafeSign, which in addition to Pukkelpop is also used at Rock Werchter, Graspop and many other festivals. This integration also gives municipalities such as Heist-op-den-Berg and Pelt access to that functionality for screen communication in public spaces in their region.