Sacred Artist Management

Management Strategies to Maximise Crowd Safety

Blog post   •   Jul 09, 2013 21:57 BST

 I. Introduction

‘Security & Safety
Just a Lottery...’, (Harding, 2001:19).

This comment bya senior crowd safety manager only five years ago could be seen to be a
startling indication of the importance of safety planning for any future event. Over the last 20 years there has been a catalogue of crowd related disasters. From Hillsborough in 1989 where ninety-five people lost their lives due to overcrowding, (HMSO, 1990) to nine music fans dying at Roskilde in 2000 crushed to death while watching a rock band, (Audience, 2000). The latter deaths were due to acute compression of the individuals’ chest areas with multiple bruising; and believed to have
been caused by slow evaluation of how serious the situation was accompanied by
a ‘doubt’ of who was in ‘command’, (Kornerup and Rungstrom, 2000:23).

  In 2002 a concert by FatBoy Slim resulted in ‘four times the expected number of people’ attending the event which let to the event ‘spiralling out of control’ into ‘scenes of chaos’, and resulted in
serious injuries following a crowd related incident, (BBC, 2002). Most recently seventy-three people died in the Philippines due to a stampede while queuing for a game-show thinking the gates to the event had opened, (Sky News,2006).

 So many accidents have occurred in the past with figures of at least one hundred and ninety three fatalities all over the world at licensed events, (Kemp et al, 2004). This is argued by Upton (2004:1) to be a ‘recurring problem…..growing in terms of casualties.’ This surely is a sobering fact that needs urgent attention by the live event industry.

  Music by its very nature is a well-defined art form, and when juxtaposed with the live music industry, the worlds of art, commerce and science come together. This synergy facilitates the kind of
promotional event enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people every year, hopefully in a safe, enjoyable environment. Events can be staged anywhere from a village hall to the largest of stadia and maximising safety for spectators and fans, wherever and whenever, is an important concern now as it was almost twenty years ago at Hillsborough.

  Project management in the live music industry can involve many complex issues surrounding political; environmental; sociological; cultural; geographical; technological; legal; financial and ethical issues, (Kemp, 2000). However ‘the safety aspects of promoting concerts, particularly in the U.K, are the single most important factor’, (Kemp, 2000:127).

  The management of safety has to consider all of the issues and importantly as with any successful
management process the utilisation of an effective strategy, plan or policy is
needed to affect successful objectives (Mullins, 2002).

  Indeed the live music sector can be seen as no different from any other industry and its safety levels depend on how objectives are carried through in terms of corporate safety policy.  Unfortunately some critics see the live music industry as a banding together of small cottage industries in a ‘loose
collection’ of ‘renegade individuals’ while at the same time delivering a high
profile business model, (Hill, 2003). It is to this area in terms of strategic
management that the research project will concentrate. What strategies do the
industry utilise? How effective are the strategies? Are the safety policies up
to a standard that facilitates maximised safety for audience members? Which
factors affect strategy? Does the live music industry successfully utilise
post-event evaluation and implement feedback and adjustment?

  The research project was brought about after evaluation of a research article
titled Security & Safety, Just a Lottery…’ . (Harding, 2001, pg.19), and a desire to assess from a qualitative perspective how safe the live music industry is in the new millennium. This puts forward
the level of importance of crowd safety management and the ongoing evaluation
of its effectiveness. To this end Harding (2001) argued for efficient
assessment of risk, people & process management.  

  Key findings from previous studies argue that the process of safety management should employ an effective risk management system, Hannam (2004:401) with Upton (1995) advising strategy and effective risk management are vital to crowd safety.

Kemp et al, (2004) further advised in the case of crowd safety management that
policy should be formulated with regard to effective understanding of behaviour,
risk assessment and strategy. Further research by Health & Safety Executive
(1998) pursued an analysis of current risk assessment and Challis (2003) debated
safety regulation as did Hill (2003) from an industry perspective.

  Studies have also been carried out into crowd safety particularly at sports grounds, with reference to Frosdick and Whalley (1997) and the application of crowd movement modelling techniques by Still
(2002). Finally, Upton (1995) clarified leadership, training and communications strategy are vital to
crowd safety.

  The research so far could be seen to havebeen disjointed with respect to its particular focus and a study has not been put forward to look at the overall management strategy in the live music industry
and effect on levels of crowd safety management. Most research has tended to
concentrate on technical issues and process management, which allow
implementation of operational plans, but not adequately looked at the strategic
planning process. As the precursor to implementation it could be seen to subsequently
affect the success of the event, in terms of the safety of the audience.  Furthermore previous studies have not utilised an underpinning of management theory to evaluate current management strategy
and its impact on crowd safety.

 

This study looks to address this issue and research how practitioners in the field of crowd
safety management can move forward, learning from the past in a rational,
scientific nature. An intellectual public debate on the subject could be seen to be well
overdue.

  It was subsequently evaluated that three concepts would
be focussed on, in relation to effects on strategy and these are from a
perspective of: how the industry manages risk in terms of safety; how the current
legislative processes co-exist with management strategies to affect and
maximise safety; and how the live music industry within the United
Kingdom deals strategically with the notion of maximising crowd safety
management, in terms of corporate safety culture. This will allow the
development of the coherent research project to tackle what could be seen as a
dangerous ongoing scenario with respect to the earlier comments of Upton
(2004:1) and the ‘recurring problem…..growing in terms of casualties.’

  The aim of the study therefore is to clarify
existing issues and evaluate existing knowledge to bring forth a rational way
forward for all stakeholders. The research question is subsequently whether the
management strategies currently employed by the U.K live music industry maximise
crowd safety.

II. A Review of
Literature

As a basis for this research project it was important to conduct an in-depth review of
literature in order to assess current viewpoints and strategic process existing
in the live music industry.  As a basis
for the review an overview of strategic management theory is an essential
starting point and will allow an important underpinning for further research.

2.1  Strategic Management

‘Objectives and policy are formalised within the
framework of a corporate strategy which serves to describe an organisation’s
sense of purpose, and plans and actions of implementation’, (Mullins, 2002:138)


From Mullins, L.J.
(2002) Management and Organisational
Behaviour.

 

 Studies by (Mullins, 2002:135) suggest the
evaluation of strategy should be seen in terms of a ‘systems view of
organisational success’ and realise that all objectives lead to a system of
activities which produce outputs. These outputs should always be discussed,
analysed and the results seen as an input towards the formulation of new and
improved goals. This utilises a system of SWOT analysis with regard to strengths,
weakness, opportunities & threats with successful strategy dependant on effective
management of opportunities and risk. Strategic plans look at focussing on the
means of achieving goals as compared to operational plans which look at
implementation of strategy. This explanation follows on from Mintzberg et al (1995) and the diagnosis of
strategy as a plan dealing with a situation; a pattern of action; or a
perspective of the world. In terms of perspective, safety is an essential human
need as per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, (Maslow, 1987).

From Maslow, A.H. (1987) Motivation
and Personality.

This seminal work
argued that safety, protection from dangers and threats of physical attack, and
the need for security and orderliness is a primary set of inbred human objectives.

  Furthermore strategy can be affected by
issues surrounding political, environmental, sociological, technical, legal and
ethical viewpoints (PESTLE). These can have a direct impact on resources,
social responsibility, organisational structure, company values, process
management, behaviour and leadership, (Minzberg et al, 1995). Formulation of strategy can also be affected by
competitive forces due to Porter’s five force theory and the affect of new
entrants to the market, substitute products, intensity of rivalry and
availability of suppliers.

  From this underpinning of strategic management
theory the first concept to be evaluated is that of risk management and how the
function affects strategic planning.

2.2 Risk
Management

The concept of
risk as per Lowrance (1976) is a measure of the probability and severity of
adverse events or hazards, which should be based on a quantitative, scientific
measurement. However the analysis can become a qualitative, political activity
when an event manager judges the acceptability of risk. 

Kaplan et al
(1981) further clarified the individual charged with analysing the risk seeks
to answer three questions of:


  • What can go wrong?

  • What indeed is the likelihood of it going
         wrong?

  • What are the consequences of it going wrong?

It also, as per
Haimes (1991), looks to answer three more questions with regard to:


  • What can be done

  • What options are subsequently available

  • What is the cost-benefit analysis in terms of
         risk.

  A total risk management strategy looks to
combine a systems management approach with risk management and must address:
failure of hardware (equipment); human failure; organisational failure or
software failure (information) which can all subsequently lead to a systems
failure. It is this management of risk that has not only an impact from a
mathematical viewpoint it could also be seen to be dependent on the subjective
nature of the individual performing the measurement, (Haimes, 1991).

Could the live
music industry be making risk management decisions, on safety, based negatively
on a cost-benefit analysis of risk?

   It is
this mix of quantitative and qualitative processes that could be seen to be an
important issue in crowd safety management. What is the strategy utilised by
crowd safety managers and how does that affect the ability to maximise crowd
safety?

  With respect to the decision-making process
a recent study by McDonnell et al
(1999:293) advised risk perception to be a ‘social phenomenon’  which is ‘not easily measured, described and
predicted’.  It may involve a human
action of ‘heuristics’ as per Kahnemann et
al
(1982) which suggested individuals may make evaluative decisions based
on previous events of a similar type. These shortcuts could lead to a severe
bias in judgement and if an individual has not experienced a particular
situation they may not be able to fully conceptualise the outcome. This could
lead this lead to possible failings in risk analysis and implementation of
contingency measures. This point is backed up Frosdick and Whalley (1997:37)
who comment good safety management means a reduction of risk as far ‘as is
reasonably possible’ allowing for the fact perception of risk may be different
in individuals.  However event managers
are seen to be ultimately responsible for risk management and in the event of
an accident or death will be called to account for the ‘adequacy of their
arrangements’.

  Risk management could therefore be seen to be, as
per Haimes (1998), a strategic calculation in terms of a multi-layered
trade-off between risks and benefits for shareholders which could lead to a
conflict of objectives.

  Studies by Tarlow (2002:37) advise experience
can allow for intuition and subsequently cross-over with levels of knowledge
and expertise. The rationalisation of strategic risk management in the live
music industry then moves from ‘pure science to art’ but is this advisable in
terms of maximising crowd safety?

  Further recent studies on risk assessment in the
live music industry have been by Upton (2004b:1)
who advises risk assessment should be based on qualitative assessment but with
an input from quantitative methodology in terms of the movement patterns of
individuals (‘pedestrian planning’) and the movement of individuals at high
densities (‘crowd dynamics’), (Upton,
2004b:3). He concludes that without input from experts in these areas along
with a detailed understanding of crowd behaviour:

‘Risk assessment
for casual rock concerts will continue to be based on pure speculation or
informed opinion.’ (Upton,
2004b:4).

  Upton
(2004a) further argued that risk assessment in the live music industry should
examine all environmental factors in terms of site or venue; set out
qualitative measures in terms of risk assessment; back them up with
quantitative measures from experts and examine any commercial activity which
takes place as part of the event. Furthermore the assessment of risk should
involve a ‘comprehensive risk analysis of similar events’, (Upton, 2004a:6).

  The study of Kemp et al (2004) advised that any assessment technique to aid crowd
safety should be a live ongoing risk assessment process with constant
monitoring, evaluation and developing of process as the event proceeds. It
concludes risk assessment planning should take place on various levels with
regard to strategic, tactical and operational planning, and should pay
particular respect to the understanding of crowd behaviour, crowd psychology,
crowd dynamics and venue specific knowledge. Harding (2001) furthermore argued
effective safety measures can be put in place by performing an efficient
assessment of risk with respect to: venue design and systems, effective
documentation and planning, and suitable levels of management skill base.

  Unfortunately Hannam (2004) advises some
companies produce detailed risk assessment documentation but do not implement
effective systems and they may also produce the same assessment for different
events. Hannam (2004:22) advises ‘documentation alone is not sufficient’ and
that health and safety is an ‘essential part of quality control’.

  Further studies by Kemp et al (2004:9) advised that potential problems existed in the live
industry with regard to the risk management of crowd and their accompanying
behaviours. The understanding of this risk is argued to be a fundamental factor
in making events safer but the methods to control this risk ‘continue to divide
the industry’.

The study also
concluded that existing methods of risk assessment and analysis may be flawed
with respect to the estimation of safe capacity and argued to be a  ‘high risk strategy’ that will need a
‘complete rethink’.  However to change
systems and strategies utilised for many years ‘will, however, be difficult’, (Upton, 2004:60).

A further
potential flaw illuminating affecting risk management strategy is argued by
Still (2000), a leading expert on the subject of crowd dynamics. His study on
the modelling of crowd movements in high density situations advises present
guidelines and methodologies for risk assessment methodology may be inappropriate,
and lead to potential problems affecting levels of crowd safety.

  Further research by Health & Safety
Executive (1998) on current risk assessment measures concluded that further
research was needed on the qualitative and quantitative risk assessment models
utilised by the event industry. They also advised little information existed on
how analysis was applied in terms of crowd behaviour or crowd dynamics and that
was required by practitioners in the:

 ‘Identification of complex safety hazards,
qualitative risk estimation and issues concerning tolerability of risks’, (HSE,
1998:71)

It was also
advised that cost-benefit analysis could not be used as it could mislead
judgement. However the area of risk management, its function of risk analysis
and the health and safety of individuals are an internal part of the
legislative process and the next section will look at the legislative process.

2.3 The
Legislative Process

In the United Kingdom
the notion of safety is protected by legislation under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 (and 1984). The HSW Act 1974 advises
event managers, as part of their legal duty, they have an obligation to provide
safe and adequate protection, as far as is thought to be ‘reasonably practicable’,
for third parties exposed to risks created by their undertaking, (Challis, 2004:67).

  With regard to HSW Act 1974 the event
organiser has ultimate responsibility for ‘protecting the health, safety and
welfare’ of all who attend an event, and for providing effective documentation,
(HSE, 1999:1). The Occupiers Liability Act 1957(and 1984) similarly advises an
occupier of land is obliged to do ‘all things reasonable in the circumstances’
to provide for the safety of a visitor, (Challis, 2004:67).

  The HSW Act 1974 works alongside a ‘myriad
of legislative Acts of Parliament and associated regulations’, (Challis,
2003:1) and guidance documents including The
Event Safety Guide
or Purple Guide used by the event industry as an
effective reference material, (Hannam, 2004).

This document
represents collaboration between the live industry and the legislative bodies,
(Winsor, 2004) and brings together necessary technical and logistical
guidelines in order to satisfy basic health and safety standards.

  However, Hannam (2004:24) advises many
industry personnel confuse the guidelines of the Purple Guide with complying
with legal requirements. The Event Safety Guide is also utilised to assist with
the recommendations and adherence with current legislation, (Kemp et al, 2004)
but there seems to be confusion over what should be considered.

  With respect to administration of relevant
legislation in the United
  Kingdom, an executive body set up by
government operates under the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It works
alongside various stakeholders to draft new legislation and enforce existing
legal duties although in practice the administration and enforcement is
conducted by local authorities, who provide Public Entertainments Licenses
under the Licensing Act 2003,
(Winsor, 2004).  The Act has as one of
its main objectives to maintain public safety.

  With respect to effective evaluation of risk,
legislation is with relevance to the Management
of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992,
(HSE, 1999). This item of legislation ‘makes more
explicit’ the management of health and safety under the original HSW Act. It
gives ‘key steps’ to ensure any activity, including those that are event based,
are driven by an adequate assessment of risk, (HSE, 2000).

  To obtain a license under the Licensing Act
2003 this includes self-assessment of fire safety, first aid provision and
emergency planning procedures and should employ a ‘competent person’, (Winsor,
2004:54).

However Hannam
(2004) argued that the idea of competency has caused confusion and does not
have a finite definition in legislation. It could mean knowledge, skill or
experience.

  A recent study by Challis (2003:1) has
argued with so much legislation and guidance documentation regulations may be
‘passed but not implemented’ and may initially change procedures but ‘become
lax where enforcement is weak and costs rise’.

  Harding (2001) also argued that there is no
consistency of legislation as each licensing authority has its own
interpretation of health and safety law, guidelines and may have varying
standards of knowledge and expertise.

  The enforcement of Health and Safety
legislation could be seen to rest with effective deployment of knowledge and monitoring
of procedures by all stakeholders.  

  However a study by van Beek (2000:45)
advises safety officers can turn up to the venue or event ‘an hour or so’
before the start of the show leading to little time for evaluation of potential
risk to safety. Van Beek (2000:11) further commented the methods utilised by
the Health in terms of funding may mean they do not act until ‘there is a major
incident’. This would be ‘too late’ and lead to the entire industry being
‘tainted’. 

  In studies by Hannam (2004:401) it was argued
‘authorities are very lax when it comes to enforcement’ of legislation as there
is no incoming revenue from Health and Safety unlike similar regulatory bodies
in the financial industry.  

At present in
terms of a civil sanction due to  ‘negligence’ or lack of  ‘duty of care’ the penalties can be up to
£20,000 in a civil action or if found criminally liable, with regard to
statutory law a custodial sentence can be applied, (Challis, 2003).

  The Roskilde event now known as ‘the safest
event in the world’ (crowdsafe.com, 2005) was put under safety scrutiny by Bowdin
et al (2001:209) who advised that
‘core recommendations’ provided by The Event Safety Guide ‘were not followed.

  How truly safe are we in the United Kingdom
when attending a musical event?

  In a study by Hannam (2004:22) it was argued some
industry personnel comment ‘health and safety is just common sense’ but he
further advises if this is a rational assessment then why are live outdoor
event site plans still being badly designed; and certain promoters still
allowing incitement of dangerous crowd behaviours by a number of artists . He further
advised, in terms of management strategy, health and safety legislation should
be seen as an ‘essential part’ of a ‘quality control’ system (Hannam, 2004:22),
and suggested three new offences including Corporate Killing may push
responsible event organisers towards safer policies for its customers.

  With respect to existing legislation
Frosdick and Whalley (1997:27) argued that the HSW Act 1974 is inadequate and
ill-equipped to enforce safety for large numbers of people and legislation
constantly tries to solve ‘societechnical solutions with technical solutions’
by revising documents after disaster enquiries instead of ‘developing radical
solutions’.

Frosdick and
Whalley (1997:25) advised a process of ‘examining legislation as a whole’ instead
of implementing a ‘short-term panic measure’ after every disaster. However some
official inquiries including the Kings Cross disaster due to fire have
‘emphasised the need’ for ‘organisational safety cultures’, (Frosdick and
Whalley, 1997:152). It is to this area that the concluding section of the
review of literature will focus.

2.4 Corporate Safety
Culture

It could be seen
that a consideration of crowd safety is also a social responsibility of an ethical
nature. This is backed up by Richardson
and Thompson (1994) when they advise strategic management, to be effective,
should create an alliance between nature, the environment, the culture of an
organisation and its organisational resources.

  Subsequently safety culture should be seen
to co-exist alongside the desires of business stakeholders and the current
legislative system (Mullins, 2002). In terms of safety in could be seen that
the actions of management within an organisation not only impinge on its own
internal customers but strategic decisions have ‘an increasing impact on
individuals, other organisations and the community’, (Mullins, 2002:142).  This is due to the open system of the
environment having a direct effect on the business.

  Harding (2001:21) advised there is a
‘disjointed approach from the government, licensing authorities’ and leading
industry bodies which could be seen to have a negative impact on maximising
crowd safety.

He further
comments the standards of training, skills, resources are inconsistent and the
‘massive variations’ could lead to another disaster if an effective safety
culture is not implemented, (Harding, 2001:22).

  With regard to implementation of health ands
safety management Hannam (2004:1) suggests the essence of crowd safety culture
is couched in the term ‘reasonably practicable’ and the evaluation of the
limits of application of health and safety by event managers. This can be
balanced against ‘time, trouble, cost and physical difficulty’ and can
eventually lead to interpretation by the court system which is a reactive
rather than proactive measure. 

  Hill (2003:2) argued that when the
Glastonbury Festival lost its license in 2001 due to intense overcrowding in
2000 it had to increase spending to gain its license and could be seen to put
safety before expenditure but it would not have been given permission to stage
the event if criteria were not met. Hill further argued ‘money is the key issue
of safety at live music venues’ and in terms of safety culture the event
organisers had not been proactive in assessing the relevant risks prior to this
incident. If conditions similar to Roskilde
had occurred there would have been ‘severe repercussions’. He also advised that
increased premiums for public liability insurance could induce the industry to
tighten its safety procedures.

  Bodies such as the Safety Focus Group have
been set up by the industry to look at crowd safety, Challis (2003). Set up in
2001, post Roskilde to rethink safety procedures but have received criticism
from experts in the industry who advise the SFG are not demanding standards be
adhered to or looking effectively at ‘deficiencies’ within the industry,
(Crowdsafe, 2003).

  Education also has recently played its part
to increase knowledge with the recent development of a Foundation Degree in
Crowd and Safety Management, which looks at crowd psychology and crowd dynamics
as part of its content, (BCUC, 2006). This course based at Buckinghamshire Chilterns
University College
works with several industry bodies including the PSA, SIA and UKCMA to license
security companies and deliver security and safety training. As per (Kemp et
al, 2004), how do we measure the skill, knowledge and experience of personnel
charged with the responsibility of crowd safety when the subject is ‘not a
recognised social science’.

   Existing
research by the review of literature has very much concentrated on technical
issues and implementation of operational plans, but not adequately looked at
the strategic planning process. This research project looks to examine and
evaluate the current management strategies utilised, with regard to crowd
safety, and the effect current practice has. How do the concepts of risk
management, legislation and safety culture interact in strategic planning issues?

  This study looks to address how
practitioners and stakeholders in the field of crowd safety management can move
forward, learning from the past in a rational, scientific nature. Lord Taylor
advised in his summing up in the wake of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in
1989:

‘all those
responsible for certifying, using and supervising….should take a hard look at
their arrangements and keep doing so. Complacency is the enemy of safety.’ (Taylor, 1990).

If management strategies,
are in anyway, negatively focussed on the issues of crowd safety, a disaster in
the United Kingdom’s
live music industry, ‘may be waiting to happen’, (Harding, 2001:19).

III. Methods

3.1 Purpose of
Investigation

The purpose of
the study was to evaluate whether management strategies currently employed by
the U.K live music industry maximise crowd safety. Primary research collection
of data targeted practitioners of live event management (licensing officers,
crowd safety managers, crowd safety consultants and educational experts) to
understand respondent’s views, feelings and perceptions. This was in order facilitate
investigation of various concepts, allowing in-depth appraisal and critical
analysis.

  The study had three aims which were to
discover: how the live music industry manages risk in terms of safety; how current
legislative processes co-exist with management strategies to affect and
maximise safety; and how the live music industry within the United Kingdom
deals strategically with the notion of maximising crowd safety management, with
respect to a corporate safety culture.

 

3.2 Choice of
Research Approach

The study
utilised a qualitative research approach to evaluate the opinions of  experts within the field of crowd safety
management. Qualitative research allowed, as per Marshall and Rossman (1989:28),
the evaluation of ‘real world observations, dilemmas and questions’ which
looked to capture perceptions and opinions of respondents and allow further
analysis.

This was further
advised by Burns (2000:3) to allow a ‘naturalistic’ approach which would
‘emphasise the importance of the subjective experience of individuals’.

  Whereas qualitative research looks at interpretation
of an in-depth understanding within a context, it was deemed impractical to
utilise a quantitative research to study the phenomenon. This was evaluated as
quantitative methods use empirical research in the form of numbers and
statistics as per Punch (1998) and would have assumed the ‘social reality’ was
‘objective and external to the individual’, (Burns, 2000:3).

  Silverman (1997:1) argued the method should
not be seen ‘provisional’ or an ‘initial hypotheses’ and that qualitative
studies as a social science have already built up a usable  body of knowledge. As the subjective living
experience of the respondents with regard to reality was the focus of the
study, this was deemed to be a satisfactory starting point.

  Limitations of this method include as per
Burns (2000) a difficulty to apply conventional standards of reliability as
conditions cannot be replicated to any degree. However the social interaction
of the researcher and the researched was important.

   With
respect to research design, evaluative research was chosen due to its specificity
of approach, as strategic evaluation was the goal.  Swetnam (2000:41) advised with regard to
questioning ‘social policy and activity’ the research style allowed ‘success
criteria’ to be measured with respect to an implementation of plans. 

  In terms of methods not adopted one of
ethnographic observation was discarded in terms of restraints of timescale and
complexity. 

  Secondly case study was not adopted as in
terms of a review of literature the subject matter of Glastonbury
and Roskilde
were discussed. Furthermore this approach would not have allowed a breadth of
knowledge, opinion and perception to be evaluated which was the purpose of the
study.

  The final method deemed not to be employable
for the purposes of the study was one of historical research and documentary
analysis as the skill and timescale to complete analysis would have been a
restraint and as per Swetnam (2000) the ‘academic rigour’ needed may have
proved additionally limiting.

 

3.3 Sampling
Methodology

  The aim was to obtain a spread of
respondents, from a range of occupations within the live event management
sector of the music industry, considered by their peers to be experts in their
respective professions. Fourteen professionals were contacted by email
following the sourcing of contact details from The Music Week Directory,
International Showcase and company websites following secondary research.

Attached was a
formal letter of introduction from the Centre for Crowd Management and Security
Studies.

  Ethical procedures were followed as per
Burns (2000) with an explanation of exact details of the study, choice of
anonymity, rights to discontinue at any time, confidentiality and researcher
obligations.

  This technique produced eight responses, and
subsequently four respondents advised 
availability within timeframe and locality of the study. The eventual
sample covered enough of a spread of expert knowledge to allow successful
progress.

  Punch (1998) advised that there is no simple
summary of sampling techniques in qualitative methods. The sample should be
relevant within the conceptual framework, consist of a good spread of
respondents and be feasible within money, time and access to individuals.

  Burns (2000) similarly argued sampling
should be guided by a search to ‘clarify the analysis’ to achieve ‘maximum
identification of emergent categories’.

From this
viewpoint it was considered to be a completely viable sampling of industry
professionals.

  Limitations were seen to involve issues of availability
and timescale constraints.

3.4 Methods of
Data Collection

The choices of
data collection centred on the possible use of two differing methods, namely a questionnaire
or interview format. It was evaluated that the questionnaire method would not
allow in-depth analysis of the respondents’ knowledge or experience, within the
social reality they found themselves a part of.

  Burns (2000) argues surveys do not allow
feelings, beliefs or perceptions to be evaluated. Consequently this choice of
data collection could have adversely affected and prevented any rapport or
trust between the interviewer and respondent. 

  Conversely the interview method, as per Punch
(1998:175), argues interviews are utilised in order to assess:

  ‘perceptions, meanings, definition of situations
and constructions of reality’ and is a ‘powerful way of understanding others’.

Subsequently the
interview process was chosen to allow further analysis.

  Furthermore a semi-structured approach to
the interview process was conducted to allow the interviewer to:

‘follow up
questions, probe responses and ask for clarification or elaboration’, (Arksey
and Knight, 1999).

  The format of the interview utilised an open
questioning style as per Patton (1990:280). This approach took each respondent
through the ‘same sequence’ although flexibility was dependent on ‘the skills
of the interviewer, (Patton, 1990:281).

This was
considered to be the best strategy within the timescales allowed and the
academic rigour required.

  As per Burns (2000) an important pilot of
the interview was conducted. This was facilitated in conjunction with an
experienced production manager and input from the research study supervisor. The
only negative feedback from the pilot was the possibility of slight
subjectivity of questions but interactivity was the key to success as well as a
sound knowledge base. The questions were then forwarded onto the respondents
pre-interview which allowed them to make any advance notes.

  Silverman (1997) advised competencies in
‘active listening’ with knowledge of the subject matter and respondent are
important criteria for success. Subsequently the intensive review of literature
along with background searches of respondents fed into the process.

  *Please
see Appendix 1 for the interview schedule and Appendix 2 for a full rationale
of the interview questions.

   With respect to the content of the questions
eleven points of focus were utilised covering the three concepts of Risk
Management, Legislation and Corporate safety Culture. Question one was used to
create rapport and establish a broad overview. Questions two and three
established respondents’ views on risk management, risk perception and risk
analysis. Questions four and five were used to assess viewpoints on legislation
and self-regulation. Questions six and seven facilitated an assessment of
corporate safety culture and strategy within the industry.

Questions eight
and nine established respondents’ perceptions of how we learn from the past to
move forward and industry facilitation. Question ten was asked to determine
knowledge levels within the industry. Finally question eleven was asked to determine
if any further comments were applicable.

  Limitations of the interview method, as
commented by Silverman (1997:113) are that the process can be seen as a source
of ‘bias, error or misunderstanding’ but with the correct questions asked in
the proper manner the respondent will become a ‘pipeline’ to aid the
transmittance of knowledge. The secondary limitation related to time
constraints of the respondent. 

  Transcription was aided in three out of four
cases by the use of a Dictaphone. Arksey and Knight (1999) advised this method
shows the serious nature of the interview process and allows concentration on
what is being said. No respondent objected to this process.

3.5 Data
Analysis

The method
utilised for analysis of data from the qualitative interviews was that of abstraction
and comparison to group data utilising the concepts of risk management,
legislation and safety culture. As per Punch (1998:210) this technique allows
the researcher ‘to compare concepts’. Punch(1998:22) further advises to extract
conclusion from the data the analysis should be:

‘systematic,
disciplined, transparent and described’ .

Using the three
concepts within the literature review as a basis for analysis it was felt a
suitable starting point for the semblance of results and discussion thereof.
Burns (2000:389) supports this process explaining the literature may give ‘some
form of triangulation’.

  Methods that were not adopted by the study
included those of semiotics which as per Miles and Huberman (1994) is an
‘analysis done with words’ to compare linguistic patterns. The method would
have been time consuming and require greater skill levels than was available. Similarly
conversational analysis was not employed to analyse how interview responses
affect the next response, as this required extended skills and timeframe,
(Punch, 1998).

Appendix 1:  Interview Schedule

1.  Respondent A: Mr. Philip Winsor: Chief Licensing
Officer, Milton Keynes Council at Milton Keynes Council Licensing Department,
Milton Keynes, on 23rd January 2006 at 1400hrs.

2.  Respondent B: Mr. Mark Harding: Managing
Director, Showsec International Ltd at The Event Show, Olympia,
London, on 26th
January 2006 at 1215hrs.

3.  Respondent C: Dr. Mick Upton: Head of Centre for
Crowd Management and Security Studies and world-renowned Crowd Safety
Management Consultant on Tuesday 7th February 2006 at 1153hrs (by
email due to unforeseen illness).

4.  Respondent D: Professor Chris Kemp: Dean of
Leisure & Tourism Faculty, Buckinghamshire
Chilterns University
College & Educational and Project
Consultant to the Centre for Crowd Management and Security Studies, at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University
College, on Thursday 16th
February, 2006 at 1000hrs.

* (none of the
respondents chose to seek anonymity)

Appendix 2: Interview
Question Rationale

The interview consisted
of eleven questions differing in objective and covering the three concepts of
Risk Management, Legislation and Corporate Safety Culture.

Question 1: What
are your views on the current levels of crowd safety management in the live
music industry and do you feel there is room for improvement? If so, which
measures would be suitable?
This was asked to establish a broad overview of the
industry and, to create rapport and set a solid base for following questions
and comparison with other respondents.

Question 2: What
are your views on risk management strategies within the live music industry and
do you feel current measures maximise crowd safety? If no, which measures would
increase levels of safety?
Questions two was asked to determine the how risk
management affects strategy.

Question 3: Is
there a possibility risk management decisions made, based to a degree on the
risk perception of the individual, could be flawed and contribute to possible
crowd related incidents?
Question three was to assess the perception
of  heuristics on determination of risk.

Question 4: Do
you think current legislation enforces efficient management strategies to
promote and facilitate maximised crowd safety? If no, which legislative
measures would increase facilitation?
Question four was asked to establish the respondents’
viewpoints on legislation with regard to strategy and possible improvements.

Question 5: The
crowd safety expert Paul Wertheimer has suggested that one of the leading
industry bodies, the Safety Focus Group, has not successfully met objectives to
increase crowd safety, since its inception in 2001. Do you think the industry
can self regulate or will legislation have to change primarily to maximise
crowd safety?

Question five
was asked to determine views on self regulation and assess views on
self-regulation. By utilisation of an expert’s previous negative comments this
showed competency in the knowledge of existing literature and encouraged
positive interactivity.

Question 6: Could
areas of the industry be guilty of maximising profits, at the expense of
maximising safety, and will only increase safety measures to meet license
provisions and minimise public liability insurance premiums. Subsequently is
there a justified ethical argument for increasing levels of crowd safety, not
simply based on cost-benefit analysis?
Question six looked directly at
cost-benefit analysis as this was an important point from the literature review
with respect to corporate culture.

Question 7: Do
you think the current live music industry has an established safety culture and
recognises evolving its own strategy to deal with strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats?
This was asked in order to focus on the
strategic awareness in the live industry.

Question 8: Do
you think that the industry has learned any constructive lessons from previous
crowd related incidents including Roskilde and
the Big Day Out in Australia
to allow these types of incidents to be negated?

Question eight again aimed to discover and assess perceptions
with respect to real life incidents and their effect on strategy.

Question 9: With
recent examples of:



       
    • Overcrowding
            at the Glastonbury
            Festival in 2000 and the Big Beach Boutique in 2002

    •  
    • Recent
            studies concluding calculations for ingress/egress, pedestrian planning,
            crowd dynamics and venue design could be potentially flawed when dealing
            with crowd safety management.

    •  
    • Academics
            advising each and every revision of guidance documents, after crowd
            related incidents, provide technical solutions to more complex problems,
            instead of radical solutions.

    •  
    • Academic
            studies suggesting decision making processes with regard to risk
            management, crowd psychology and crowd behaviour could be questioned as
            they relate only to the extent of knowledge and experience of event
            personnel.

Should there be a change in strategy allowing a
complete review of Risk Management, Legislation and Crowd Safety Management.

This would bring together, leading academics,
government experts and crowd safety managers. Would this facilitate a proactive
move towards maximising crowd safety negating future incidents?

Question nine was
asked to assess possible changes in the industry giving credible examples from
the literature review to create interaction. It covered all of the concepts to
allow the respondents to strategically look forward and give proactive insight.

Question 10: Do
you think the current level of knowledge within the industry from event
managers, licensing personnel, crowd safety managers and security/stewarding
personnel is at a high enough standard to maximise crowd safety. If not how can
you perceive the industry being proactive in this measure and be consistent
throughout the U.K?
Question ten took one step back from question nine
to allow reflection on current levels of safety and juxtapose the what is factor with what could be.

Question 11:
Do you have any further comments? Question eleven
provided an opportunity for the respondent to cover areas not previously discussed
and make general comments about the interview process.