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Large scale outdoor event

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Not sure if I'm posting this enquiry into the correct board but here goes.


I have been asked if I have the capability to plan a reasonably large scale outdoor event – likely to be held in a football stadium with stand capacity of approx 14000 in 2009 or 2010.


I have to say that I don't feel over awed at all about the prospect of looking at such an event (my day job is a project manager) and I have successfully planned indoor events at 4-5000 seat venues on a successful basis, with the assistance of a core team of colleagues.


Given the fact that the planned event is outdoors, there will inevitably be some major differences to the basic requirements and a certain ramping up of the specifying of staging/PA and lighting equipment that will be needed, however, I still feel that with the input and expertise of the various contractors, those aspects are manageable.


There are areas though that I admittedly don't know enough about and would value any pointers or assistance from other members of this oiard that might put me onto the right track. Some of those aspects I have been thinking about are;


Health and safety


Noise levels


Permits from local authority






Crowd safety


Power + redundancy


Access to the venue and car parking


Etc etc.


I'm sure that there may be many other aspects that would/should have sprung to mind but this event is no more than the bones of an idea at the moment and with your help, perhaps I can put some flesh on it.





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It would probably help if you were able to give us an idea of where the event is taking place. Local authority regulations vary quite dramatically from place to place, for instance. Also, given the breadth of talent on this board, I expect that there'll be people on here with first-hand experience of your venue.
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The promoter has the ideas and needs to apply for the licences from the local council which will be a milti chat experience, then the licence will have all the terms written in.


The build and rip out could likely come under the Construction Design and Management regs (CDM )

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Within your H&S and crowd safety bit don't forget first aid cover, especially for a crowd of that size. This can easily be arranged with any of the first aid providing organisations such as St John Ambulance (England) or St John Cymru - Wales (Wales), St Andrew's First Aid (Scotland), British Red Cross (UK). There are many others but these are the top 3 in the UK, but depends on where in the world the event's taking place!


The reason I mention this now in the early stage of your planning is that the earlier you get talking to the provider of FA cover the easier it is for you (one less thing to worry about!) and the easier it will be for them getting volunteers lined-up ready to cover your event. But also they are able to help advise on that side of the event due to covering lots of events like that. Being a duty coordinator for our local division it's not nice having a large event ask for cover with only sometimes a week before it's due to happen - we are volunteers afterall :rolleyes:


Hope that helps!

Peter :o

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In terms of power supply and redundancy your chosen provider will be able to help here. It depends on what facilities the venue already has. If it's geared up for large events like this then you should be able to do the whole lot from house power with a stand-by genny to cover any power cuts. If, on the other hand, it's a "green field" site you'll be looking at a minimum of two gennies with auto changeover from duty to standby, telemetry to keep you informed and various other bits that are best left to the pros. You would be shocked at how many standby systems do not operate when they are required. A large NHS trust was embarassed by this problem recently.


Like you said, your subbies will be able to advise on everything. I have managed projects into many millions in various industries and I don't even pretend to know what most of the people working for me are doing. Your job I guess will be to make sure you have the right people in the right place at the right time for the right cost.


CDM is an interesting one here. Under the new (2007) regs the onus has been placed much more heavily on the client to ensure that everything is done properly. You can't just contract a company to take on the liability any more. You must be able to demonstrate that you have competent people instrumental in every part of the operation in order to show due dilligence as a client. If it was me, I'd be doing everything possible to avoid letting the job become notifiable at all costs. On a recent CDM training course from the HSE they gave us figures on the number of prosecutions for ignoring or not complying with CDM and they're increasing exponentially every year. Scary.


For a very brief indication of what might be involved under CDM have a look here: CDM PDF. I'd strongly advise getting hold of the ACOP (approved code of practice) from the HSE website and giving it a read.


The other thing I'd be interested in from my point of view is that the new 17th edition wiring regs (BS7671 2008) now treat temporary installations the same way as fixed installations. So, for example, all of your circuits containing a socket MUST have residual current protection (by means of and RCD, RCBO etc). They also need adequate CPC (circuit protective conductors or earth straps) as does any structure near which the system is used. Therefore your stage will have to comply and not just by joining the pieces together, you need earth bonding on the whole lot. I haven't yet encountered a stage company who know this. I'm sure there are lots who do and it will become more commom knowledge once a few are prosecuted.


Sadly we live in a nanny state where good intentions no longer count for anything. Keep the HSE man happy or you will be shut down.


If you need any pointers give me a PM but as always none of my comments should be used without speaking to a qualified expert.


P.S. I'd avoid talking to the HSE on any specifics but it's always worth a phone call to discuss a hypothetical situation.

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Within your H&S and crowd safety bit don't forget first aid cover, especially for a crowd of that size. This can easily be arranged with any of the first aid providing organisations such as St John Ambulance (England) or St John Cymru - Wales (Wales), St Andrew's First Aid (Scotland), British Red Cross (UK). There are many others but these are the top 3 in the UK, but depends on where in the world the event's taking place!

In addition to these volunteer services, I would strongly suggest to get a professional paramedic service on-site too. St Johns and the like offer an excellent service for minor injuries but in a crowd this size you are likely to have a few incidents involving drugs and alcohol. For those you will need a paramedic, preferably one that specialises in concerts & dance parties and keeps track of what drugs are on the street and if there are any bad batches out there. Knowing which drugs are doing the rounds and the symptoms can be the difference between life and death.

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I would imagine that the venue might place requirements for stewarding and first aid on you as well as the licence issuing authority. I know someone who used to work in Wembley Arena and they insisted (at that time anyway, 10 years ago now) that they used their own trained stewards and a certain number had to be first aid trained to various levels depending on what the event was and how may people were in.


The moral of the story I guess is to contact your venue and see what they require for insurance purposes. Also what does your own insurance company say? Presumably if you don't do this all the time you're getting a one-off policy for this outdoor event to cover your PL.

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The above is fantastic. I do appreciate your responses. I have been away on biz so apologies for the lack of response from myself. I have been invited to meet with the stadium to discuss the ideas we have and I guess that it would be sensible to wait until I have ther information to hand before I take this any further. I'm also very glad to have had replies concerning First Aid. I have to say that I did have this requirement noted as a requirement but also hope that other readers of this thread wil take note of the fantastic work that the organisations referred to do. Thanks also for the info on HSE and CDM and electrics. It seems as though events of this type are getting more onerous on the promoter and I guess rightly so. Finally, with ref to the event and it's location, I don't want to say too much at this stage but Sthrn UK is as far as I want to go with this info.


Thanks to all.



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