Industry initiative ‘Safer Crowds, Safer Venues’ released to enhance crowd management practices in the UK

Images by Jesse Maricic & Micah Gianneli | http://micahandjesse.com

In response to several high-profile incidents resulting in loss of life or serious injury, a collaborative effort has been undertaken by the UK Crowd Management Association, Night Time Industries Association, LIVE, and UK Door Security Association. Alongside experts and key stakeholders from the industry, they have unveiled a comprehensive best practice guide to enhance crowd management practices in performance spaces and licensed venues across the United Kingdom.

This initiative aims to provide venue operators, organisers, and their stakeholders with a general outline of accepted good practices in crowd management, filling a crucial gap in safety protocols, particularly for indoor spaces smaller than arenas. The guide, a culmination of insights from experienced individuals within the industry, offers valuable perspectives tailored to ensure the safety, security, and optimal experience of attendees.

“The tragic incidents in recent years underscore the critical need for standardised and effective crowd management practices,” said Anne Marie Chebib, spokesperson for the UK Crowd Management Association. “This guide represents a milestone in our collective efforts to prioritise safety and well-being in performance and licensed spaces.”

The guide addresses various aspects of crowd management, including risk assessment, planning processes, stakeholder engagement, and considerations for different types of venues and events. It emphasises the importance of proactive measures and diligent planning to mitigate potential risks, recognising that strategies may vary depending on the nature of the event and venue.

“While this document serves as a valuable resource, it is important to recognise that it does not replace regulatory tools or official guidance,” noted Michael Kill, representative of the Night Time Industries Association. “Instead, it complements existing frameworks by offering practical insights and recommendations based on industry expertise.”

The guide encompasses a wide range of indoor venues, including concert halls, theatres, nightclubs, bars, pubs, restaurants, and comedy clubs hosting cultural and entertainment events. However, it excludes arenas with over 5,000 seated capacity, outdoor events, and sports grounds, which are covered by separate guidelines.

“Effective crowd management is fundamental to the success and sustainability of any venue or event,” said Eric Stuart, Former Chair of the UK Crowd Management Association. “By adhering to the principles outlined in this guide, operators can ensure the safety of patrons and staff while fostering a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere.”

The release of this guide marks a significant step forward in enhancing safety standards across the UK’s entertainment and hospitality sectors. While it provides valuable insights, users are encouraged to seek legal advice and consider statutory duties in conjunction with the guidance provided.

Anne Marie Chebib, UKCMA Chairperson “The UKCMA is delighted to be working with partners at NTIA and LIVE to launch the supporting documentation on Safer Crowds, Safer Venues. In recent years there have been several high-profile incidents which have resulted in loss of life or serious injury due to failings with operational crowd management. The document has been written voluntarily by the industry, for the industry. The purpose of this supporting work is to provide venue operators, organisers and their stakeholders with a general outline document of what currently constitutes accepted good practice in terms of crowd management for performance spaces and licensed venues in the United Kingdom. This document is a combination of accepted good practices written by experienced individuals which will assist in the process towards safe operations. It exists to assist small to medium-sized venues, to try and protect their patrons and staff, with the most current specialist knowledge, yielded from the most recent experience in the field of crowd management”.

Eric Stuart QPM, UKCMA Former Chair – “This collaboration between UKCMA and partners at NTIA and LIVE has resulted today in the launch of this, the supporting documentation on Safer Crowds, Safer Venues. Recent years have demonstrated not just how easily fatalities can occur in even small crowds, but also how they might have been avoided. Investigations and enquiries have also clearly shown a lack of crowd safety supporting documentation for those many thousands of small and medium premises falling outside the ‘Green’, ‘Purple’ and ‘A Guides’ that have been in place for many years. It led many of us involved to ask how we had not even realised such guidance was missing.”

“In the absence of any established authoritative lead or apparent appetite to write such guidance, the document has been written voluntarily by the industry, for the industry. We hope it will provide venue operators, organisers and their stakeholders with a general outline of what many authors and editors consider to be accepted good practice in terms of crowd management for performance spaces and licensed venues in the United Kingdom. It consists of a combination of accepted good practices written by experienced individuals, which will assist in the planning and delivery of safe venue operations. It exists to support small to medium-sized venues, to try and protect all those who use such venues, either for work or for pleasure and is based upon the practical learning of those who work in the field of crowd safety in such spaces and the learning from some of the incidents that have led in recent years to the loss of life we all desperately seek to avoid”.

Michael Kill CEO NTIA “As CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), We are extremely pleased to be able to be part of the collaborative effort spearheaded by the UK Crowd Management Association (UKCMA), NTIA, and LIVE in launching the pivotal good practise for Crowd Management in Performance and Licensed Spaces on Safer Crowds, Safer Venues. This isn’t just about raising the bar in crowd management; it’s about extending a lifeline to businesses that may not have naturally considered crowd management as a priority.”

“The tragedies of recent years have left an indelible mark on our industry, reminding us of the urgent need for comprehensive crowd management protocols. This document, crafted by industry experts, serves as a beacon of best practise for venue operators and organisers, especially those operating within the smaller echelons of our vibrant nightlife scene.”

“It’s a testament to our collective dedication to fostering not just thriving nightlife, but safe and inclusive spaces for all. Together, we’re ensuring that every venue, regardless of size or stature, is equipped to uphold the highest standards of crowd management, safeguarding the well-being of patrons and staff alike.”

Jon Collins CEO LIVE “At the heart of every venue is the promise of unforgettable experiences, a commitment to the joy and safety of every individual who walks through its doors.  The launch of Safer Crowds, Safer Venues offers timely support in the vitally important area of crowd management to those small and medium-sized venues previously underserved in this area.  Its content, prepared by a team of dedicated and expert volunteers, will underpin the delivery of safer events across the UK.  LIVE commends this work and the contributions made by UKCMA and NTIA”.

For more information and to access the guide, please visit https://safercrowdssafervenues.com/



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