Festival health and safety checklist
British Summertime is the peak season for all kinds of festivals, from the big music concerts, to country shows and literary festivals, and it’s important to maintain good site safety no matter if your event is big or small.
Here’s our festival health and safety checklist. This is just a guide – remember to always carry out a full risk assessment and take any appropriate precautions before you allow performers or spectators to enter your site.
Capacity is an important consideration. If your event is ticketed, set a sensible limit on the number of tickets you sell.
Show people where to go. Timber mats can create temporary walkways that control the flow of people around your site and help to keep pedestrians moving in a more orderly fashion.
Safety barriers around stages and at the perimeter of the site prevent unauthorised access and keep performers safe from any crowd surges.
Plan for the worst weather conditions and remember that large crowds mean lots of footfall on rain-soaked earth, which can quickly create mud baths.
Timber bog mats can cover the ground quickly to create safe spaces for spectators. Lay them before your festival starts, even if the forecast is clear, to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls, and to provide extra traction in general.
Falls from height
Falls from height remain one of the main causes of injury and death in workplaces and on festival sites, especially during the construction phase and during stage rigging.
Check wind speed forecasts and monitor wind speeds during active work, and stabilise any large machinery using outrigger pads.
Gas, electricity and water
If you have food stalls with gas supplies, make sure you properly risk assess their use of gas cylinders and their storage of LPG.
Be careful about electricity, especially in poor weather. Electricity supplies should be well isolated from any spectators, and accessible only to qualified electricians.
Clean water for washing and drinking is essential, especially if your festival is due to last several days. If it’s not from the mains supply, be sure to take samples and test for impurities.
Transport and access
Finally, remember to provide good access routes from the perimeter of your site to your parking area, and for anyone arriving on foot via public transport or private hire taxi.
Temporary access roads built using timber mats show people where to go on arrival, and crucially can ensure safe driving conditions when leaving a muddy site at the end of the festival.