Shutter 16 Magazine
You are here:  / Columns / Editorial / feature story / Dos and Don’ts of Concert Safety

Dos and Don’ts of Concert Safety

What would you do in case of a concert emergency?

Music. That one word can have so many meanings, but no matter what the word means to you there is always another word that joins with it. That word is family. The feeling of attending a concert is indescribable. You’re surrounded by people who don’t care what you look like, how you dress, the gender you identify as, what God you believe in, or if you have a college degree. You don’t have to worry about being singled out as “the weird one.” You feel loved and like you’re in the company of your best friends. You meet people for the first time, and make friends for a lifetime all while seeing the musicians who have been with you at your highest, and helped you out at your lowest. But within recent years, another word and emotion has been attaching itself to our safe place. That word is fear. People who once loved attending concerts are now worried to head out to support their favorite musicians.

Since 2015 a total of 261 deaths have happened at concerts while a staggering 1,045 people have been injured, bringing the total number of injured in a mass concert incident up to 1,306. That is 1,306 to many. We may never know what made the villains in these attacks do what they did, but there are steps we as concert goers can take in order to make sure our fellow concert goers, and ourselves, are safe during a concert

First things first, before you even go to the show take a few seconds to check out the layout of the venue. If possible, look online to see where your seats are compared to the stage. Look on the venue’s website to see if they have anything to say about security efforts, and most importantly have a plan of action in case something goes down. It’s going to be scary as hell and a lot of chaos is going to ensue. If you and your friends get separated you will be able to easily meet back up at your designated station.

Secondly, once you make it inside the venue, scope the place out. Make a quick note about where all the exits are. This can include front and back entrances, and emergency ones. Some venues may have a complicated layout with several rooms, if you’re not sure where the exits are don’t hesitate to ask the staff and security guards. They are there to help. Speaking of security guards, make friends with them. They may look scary and intimidating but I speak from experience, they are the coolest people you can meet. If you’re in the front row, strike up a conversation, and offer them some extra earplugs if you have them. If the concert gets a little crazy they will more than likely help keep crowd surfers off of you, and in the case of an emergency they will quickly tell you where you need to head.

Now that you’re inside the venue and standing in your spot have some fun. Enjoy the music, but make sure to keep an eye out on your surroundings. If you see someone acting suspicious, or are just feeling uncomfortable around someone, try to move and report the activity to security or the police who are now frequenting music events. Ladies, if you are feeling unsafe, or is someone is getting a little handsy find another female, or a group of females and make your way over to them. Strike up a conversation and make some quick friends. 

If you are at a show and an emergency happens, do your best to stay calm and to get away from the area where the emergency is taking place. If for some reason the exits are blocked or you can’t get out, try to find a place to duck and cover. Find a safe room if possible or a utility closet. Make sure to lock the door, and turn the lights off. If the attacker has to put more effort into getting into a room they may just bypass it. If the venue has windows and you can’t get to the exists, don’t be afraid to break them and crawl out. Or if there is a designated smoking area climb over that little wall and get to safety.  

If you’re running to the exists, make sure you follow the rules of the pit. If you see someone fall down, or is hurt and trying to make it out the door help them out. Pick them up so they don’t get trampled and continue to the exits with your new battle buddy. If there is a stampede, so to speak, to get to the exits and you can’t keep you’re footing, grab onto a support beam, or a part of the wall and hold on until you can move safely. Make sure whatever you’re grabbing onto isn’t in the center of the herd. Remember that scene in the Lion King? Don’t need that happening to you. Don’t push or shove to get to the exit faster. All this is going to do is cause people to fall and create more injuries than those that have already happened. If at all possible, try to keep your group together. Hold hands, link arms, or grab onto shirt tails. Make sure you repeat your game plan in case someone wasn’t listening the first time.  

Once you are out of the danger area, hopefully back at your cars, take stock of all injuries. Obviously someone who has a gaping gash on their forehead is going to need more medical attention then someone with a scrape. If at all possible, try to pack a First Aid Kit and keep it in your car. If an emergency happened, Paramedics and EMS are going to be taking care of the severely wounded first. Here is a link from The American Red Cross on what you need in your first aid kit.  

Finally, once you have taken proper care of yourself, and the individuals in your group, help others. If you see someone struggling to walk help them get to their destination. Grab the remaining supplies you have in you’re first aid kit and hand them out to others in need. If you have extra water, or small snacks give them to people in need. You never know when someone’s blood sugar may have dropped, or they have become dehydrated.

The world as a whole is getting to be a scary place. But we do not need to give into our fear, and let those who seek to destroy us win. We need to help each other instead of thinking of ourselves all the time. Please make sure you have a plan for emergencies, and I’m not just talking about for concerts. Make sure your family knows what to do and where to go in case of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado. Have plans on what to do if there is another attack, and above all make sure you are able to keep your family safe. I hope that one day we will once again not have to be worried about going to a concert, or even to the grocery store. Until that day however, we need to be prepared for any and all possibilities of disaster.


Born​ ​and​ ​raised​ ​in​ ​Winston​ ​Salem​ ​NC,​ ​Cindy​ ​is​ ​a​ ​professional​ ​taco​ ​enthusiast​ ​and​ ​proud Hufflepuff.​ ​Fangirl​ ​by​ ​day,​ ​and​ ​concert​ ​photojournalist​ ​by​ ​night,​ ​Cindy’s​ ​photography​ ​career started​ ​in​ ​2010​ ​when​ ​her​ ​fiance​ ​took​ ​her​ ​to​ ​her​ ​first​ ​local​ ​show.​ ​With​ ​a​ ​small​ ​Kodiak​ ​point​ ​and shoot​ ​in​ ​hand,​ ​she​ ​quickly​ ​fell​ ​in​ ​love​ ​with​ ​the​ ​local​ ​music​ ​scene​ ​and​ ​concert​ ​photography.​ ​With musical​ ​tastes​ ​varying​ ​from​ ​Acapella​ ​to​ ​Heavy​ ​Metal,​ ​there​ ​is​ ​no​ ​telling​ ​what​ ​you​ ​will​ ​hear blaring​ ​from​ ​her​ ​headphones​ ​from​ ​day​ ​to​ ​day.​ ​When​ ​she​ ​is​ ​not​ ​spending​ ​time​ ​with​ ​her​ ​family, friends,​ ​or​ ​furbabies,​ ​you​ ​can​ ​find​ ​Cindy​ ​with​ ​her​ ​nose​ ​buried​ ​in​ ​yet​ ​another​ ​book,​ ​binging​ ​Netflix with​ ​her​ ​bearded​ ​better​ ​half,​ ​or​ ​out​ ​and​ ​about​ ​at​ ​various​ ​shows.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked ( required )

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Shutter 16 Magazine:

Tune In To Our Podcast: