Music festivals have become increasingly popular over the last few years in Australia. On the outside they are seemingly fun, outdoor, social events to attend with friends while listening to music, dancing and having a great time.
These events can however, have a darker side. Each year music festivals across the country see drug overdoses, sexual assaults, robberies and tragic accidents which have left people badly injured or worse. Large crowds of inebriated youths can be a dangerous combination.
CAP Security are on the front line at these events and our security guards have offered their top tips on how you or your teenagers can stay safe at the next music festival or concert.
Stay with your friends
The old saying there is safety in numbers is as true today as it ever was. It is important to stay with your friends and keep an eye out for each other. Make sure you always take a friend with you everywhere you go especially toilets or if you are walking around at night.
Stay in well lit areas with lots of people around and if you are camping it may be a good idea to put a safety lock on your tent zip. Unfortunately young women are a target at these events so it’s imperative they look out for themselves. Girls have had success with devices like whistles and alarms for attracting attention to a bad situation. It is also beneficial to have a designated meeting point with your friends if you lose each other.
Watch your drinks
Drink spiking is a very common problem with the Australian Government reporting one in twenty women between the ages of 16-24 claim they have had their drinks tampered with on a night out in 2014. Never leave your drinks unattended or accept drinks from a stranger. If you are at a bar watch the bartender make the drink, take it immediately and keep your hand over it.
Symptoms of drink spiking include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, hallucinations, headache, seizures and mental confusion. If you suspect your drink has been tampered with inform event staff immediately. They are trained in how to deal with the situation and can give you the assistance you need. It is also important you report it to the authorities.
Keep your valuables together
Pickpocketing at music festivals is very commonplace. While people are dancing and enjoying themselves, thieves are sneaking phones and wallets from people. Avoid putting valuables on the ground and keep them on your person at all times.
If you suspect you have been robbed ask the people around you if they saw anything and report the incident immediately. Keep emergency money in your shoe so you can still get home or contact someone for help.
Take care of yourself
Music festivals and concerts are places with large crowds of people, loud music, thumping base, bright flashing lights, smoke machines and sometimes even all-day summer sun. That can be a lethal combination when mixed with drugs and alcohol so it is important to take care of yourself.
If you are in the sun make sure you apply sunscreen and have breaks in the shade plus wear protective clothing. If you will be drinking at an event have something to eat prior and watch you don’t over do it. Always keep hydrated and if you are feeling ill inform event staff who will be able to assist you.
Follow instructions of crowd controllers
Crowd controllers are on hand at events for a reason. That reason is your safety. They are experienced in crowd controlling and can handle any situation that arises. They can also contact other guards to assist with any unfolding issues.
Always listen to and follow the instructions of the crowd controllers when entering and exiting the venue and in the event of an emergency.