Large events often attract large audiences. Just think of music festivals, popular festivals, football matches, cycling competitions or demonstrations. One of the risks with large gatherings is the development of panic reactions or mass crowds. Other risks may also occur and are best taken into account in advance, such as a heat wave, a thunderstorm or storm, a fight, etc.
When you arrive at an event
- Check out the site map. If necessary, take a picture of the map.
- Immediately look for emergency exits and places that can provide protection.
- Find the medical stations. Usually these are set up very visibly by the emergency services.
- Agree with your friends in advance on a place, out of the crowd, where you can find each other.
When you are at a festival
- Have appropriate earplugs with you.
- Make sure your phone is charged and provide an external battery if necessary.
When you are at the campsite
- Provide a first aid kit:
- Medicine for headaches
- Medicine for sickness
- Medicine for diarrhoea
- Common medicines
- If you have medication that needs to be kept cool and/or dry, you can drop it off at the first aid stations.
- Bring a torch to get around in the dark.
If you find yourself in a mass crowd
- Stay calm.
- Follow the recommendations of the emergency services or the organisers.
- Let yourself be carried along by the movement without resisting; this way you are less likely to fall.
- Stay with your friends and hold on to each other.
- If you fall, try to get up as quickly as possible. Shout very loudly so that people around you hear you.
- Are you unable to stand up? Then get into the fetal position, protecting your head, ribs and abdomen.
- Do not make any phone calls; that way you keep the network clear for the emergency services. Send a text message or use social media (e.g. WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.).
- Take account of messages on screens (or through speakers).
- Try to reach your friends, preferably by text message, and agree on a meeting place away from the crowds.
- If you are injured or unwell, go to the medical station.
What do the authorities do?
A municipal or provincial emergency planning coordinator or the National Crisis Center will analyse the risks for each event and sit down with all parties involved to ensure smooth organisation and safety.
By discussing all safety aspects with the organiser beforehand, the emergency services can intervene quickly and correctly if something does go wrong.