Behavioural risk at outdoor music festivals

Doctorate other than PhD

Raineri, Aldo Salvatore. 2015. Behavioural risk at outdoor music festivals. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Professional Studies. University of Southern Queensland.

Behavioural risk at outdoor music festivals

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorRaineri, Aldo Salvatore
SupervisorPostle, glen
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Professional Studies
Number of Pages696

'Safety is not an intellectual exercise to keep us in work.
It is a matter of life and death. It is the sum of our contributions to safety management that determines whether the people we work with live or die.' Sir Brian Appleton, after Piper Alpha (1988).

Outdoor music festivals are increasingly common events on the summer entertainment landscape for youth in many countries around the world. Evidence indicates that attendance is associated with an increased risk of injury and death. Crowds are the principal hazard that needs to be dealt with, and without effective management, can become a significant problem with serious consequences. A considerable proportion of the safety risks associated with outdoor music festivals can be attributed to anti-social, irrational and unsafe behaviour by patrons. Encouragement of such behaviour has, to some extent, been a deliberate strategy on the part of music promoters and press agents, resulting in patrons attending music events becoming more aggressive and violent.

While there is endorsement in the literature for a risk management approach, risk assessments for music festivals and mass gatherings generally tend to deal with the traditional hazards and risks, without taking into account the dynamics of the crowd or those factors that influence its behaviour. Influences on crowd behaviour are little understood and generally ignored, leaving a significant source of risk at this type of event unaccounted for. When managing risks at outdoor music festivals it is important, therefore, to understand the nature of the crowd demographic attending the event and the factors that impact on and shape the behaviour of the crowd.

A number of attempts have been made to develop an appropriate method for assessing crowd safety at mass gatherings. While these approaches provide traditional (albeit contextualised) and contemporary approaches, none address the issue of behavioural risk. This dissertation outlines a model which draws together the various influences on individual behaviour which, mediated by theories of social psychology are translated into collective crowd behaviour and uses the model to ground the development of an instrument to monitor and assess behavioural risk at outdoor music festivals.

Keywordsoutdoor music festivals; crowd management; crowd behavior; risk management
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350405. Sport and leisure management
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
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