Top Tips For Staying Safe At Music Festivals
The Law Of… avoiding injury at music festivals
Festival goers are travelling all over the UK to attend one of 200 plus music festivals, this summer. With huge crowds in comparatively small spaces, there comes increased risk of injury.
Simpson Millar's Personal Injury Solicitor and avid festival goer, Maeve McCusker, explores some of the potential risks and how you can keep yourself safe at UK music festivals.
Why Are Music Festivals A Risk?
Festival organisers have to undergo extensive risk assessments to be able to hold large events. Many safety eventualities are explored by expert risk assessors to ensure the safety of attendees. The huge crowds pose increased risks for injury and the 'good time' nature of festivals often sees a huge rise in drug taking and excessive alcohol consumption which also increases the danger for personal injury.
Common health risks at music festivals include:
- Falls and trips caused by bad weather
- Drug misuse/ overdose
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Heat exhaustion/ heat stroke
What Can I Do To Keep Safe?
Good festival organisers will have your safety at the core of their festival planning, and many safety measures such as first aid tents will be in place. But, it is possible for negligence to occur and it is important to take other risk factors into account as well.
By following the tips below, you could help yourself and your party avoid unnecessary injury.
Check The Weather And Prepare Appropriately
One of the biggest risks at a music festival is the weather and how it affects the ground at a festival. If there has been a lot of rain either prior to or during the music festival, falling and tripping become increased hazards.
When setting up camp, it can be helpful to find a plot that is well-lit and on high ground. Good lighting can help you whilst you move around the festival and high-ground means the ground will be the driest possible.
It is also very important not to be complacent when the weather is hot. Prolonged periods of excessive heat can lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heatstroke in particular can be serious as it puts a strain on the heart, brain, lungs, liver, and kidneys and can ultimately be life-threatening.
Ensure you seek shade when possible, even if that means coming out of the crowd during an act. You should keep yourself hydrated by drinking fluids consistently throughout the day. Public Health England also advises that you apply sunscreen and wear a hat.
Know Where To Get Help
All festivals have first aid tents and it is important to familiarise yourself with where they are. Facilities commonly found at them include doctors, nurses, and Minor Injuries Units. Some of the bigger festivals even have x-ray facilities for more serious problems.
Make sure your mobile is always charged enough for you to make an emergency phone call in the rare instance that you might need to. Ambulances will be on site at any festival you attend and they will be able to attend any incidents much more quickly if you call them directly on 999.
Excessive alcohol consumption can be extremely dangerous, and these dangers are only exacerbated in the festival setting. By drinking alcohol you immediately increase your risk of heatstroke as well as increasing the danger of falling or tripping. If you are drinking, take care of yourself and others as you move around the festival and drink water alongside alcohol to ensure you are hydrated.
You also run the risk the chance of alcohol poisoning - it is important that you don't leave to 'sleep it off', or allow your friends to do so. It is vital to stay awake and drink water.
If someone you are with demonstrates the following symptoms call 999:
- Loss of coordination
- Irregular or slow breathing
- Blue-tinged or pale skin
- Low body temperature (hypothermia)
It is possible to enjoy alcohol in moderation, but it is well worth being vigilant for yourself and others, and assess when you have reached your limit.
It is common for drugs to be widespread at music festivals. The harsh reality is that recreational drug use increases the risk of:
- Heart attacks
- Pulmonary oedema
- Heart disease, and,
- Ultimately, fatalities
Many festivals have drug testing facilities, Kendal Calling and Secret Garden Party conducted a trial of drug testing facilities last year which saw a huge decline in the circulation of harmful drugs.
It was found that once a user had tested the contents of their drug, 1 in 5 chose to dispose of the drug rather than take a chance.
If you do decide to take drugs at a festival, remember that it is illegal, unsafe, and could seriously damage your health. Festival organisers have consistently recognised the need to limit the amount of damage caused by drugs at events that are particularly dangerous.
How Can Simpson Millar Help?
Any injury that is caused by another party's negligence, no matter where the incident took place, can lead to compensation. If you or a member of your party suffered personal injury because of another's carelessness, contact Simpson Millar to begin your claim.
Maeve McCusker comments:
"Festivals can be a lot of fun but it is also important to take care of yourself and others by remembering a few helpful tips to get you through unscathed."
"I have been to multiple Glastonbury festivals where I have seen many unfortunate festival goers slipping in the mud and ending up with leg and arm fractures and sprains. Thankfully the first aid and medical tents at festivals are fully equipped to deal with casualties but it goes without saying that extra care should be taken when navigating around the site."