What to Do and Not to Do In a Concert Stampede
We all love watching high-class performances on stage from our favorite artists. For many of us, attending a concert is probably one of the best ways to have a good time. Being able to cheer on the singers and musicians you’ve grown up idolizing as they rock the stage before your very eyes is one great experience.
The passionate chants of the people packed inside an arena help in creating a vibrant atmosphere as performing artists are pumped by a responsive crowd that eagerly sings along and dances to their tunes. However, as with any large gathering of people, there is always a danger of a stampede breaking out at a concert.
This can either be because of the over-zealousness of the crowd or some emergency situation at the venue like a fire breaking out which may lead to mass panic. With this potential scenario in mind, we have put together a list of do’s and don’ts that you can adopt to stay safe.
Things To Do In a Concert Stampede
- Be Well Aware of Your Surroundings and Keep Pace With Those Around You
You might be tempted to resist the movement of others and stay where you are in order to keep yourself safe. However, this is not the wisest thing to do. Trying to overpower countless other people in an attempt to hold you position will only end one way.
Besides, you risk serious injury to yourself by doing so. So, maintain your pace with the group around you and try not to stop, push others, bend or kneel to pick up anything that you may have dropped. They are not worth more than your life.
- Look for Alternative Exits and Navigate Your Way to the Nearest One
You will most likely be tempted to head to the same exit that everyone else is desperate to get to. This is also the easiest thing to do but not quite the smartest. Because everyone will probably be heading to the main exit point or the one closest to them, there is a risk of a crowd crush. In such situations, finding a less crowded alternative exit and heading to it will provide you an easier path to safety.
We suggest that you take some precautionary measures and identify all entry and exit points (including emergency exits) when you first enter the arena to attend the concert. That way, you will know what to do and where to head to in case the nearest exit is choked with too many people.
- Find and Hold Onto An Immobile Structure If Possible
Try to find an immovable structure such as a pillar when navigating your way through a stampede. This is because the crowd will have to part and go around such a structure. So, instead of following suit, you should hold on and stay next to it to keep yourself safe until all the commotion is over.
- Keep Your Feet Firmly On the Ground If Trapped In a Crowd
If it seems like you are stuck in the middle of a big crowd with no immediate path to the sides available, then maintain a strong balance by keeping your feet firmly on the ground and equally distributing your weight on them. Aside from doing that, adopt a boxer’s stance by keeping your hands close to chest.
- Cover Your Face and Head If You Fall
If you are knocked off your feet by any chance, then your first instinct should be to get up as quickly as possible. But if you are unable to do that, then brace yourself against the rushing crowd by curling up to one side and using your arms to cover your head and face.
The most effective position would be to curl yourself into a ball by drawing your knees close to your chest and making sure that your head and face are properly shielded by your arms. This way, you will be able to protect sensitive internal organs and avoid potentially fatal blows to the face and the head.
Things Not To Do In a Concert Stampede
- Don’t Panic
First and foremost, before you think and do anything else, DON’T PANIC. This is perhaps the worst thing you can do if a stampede breaks out. Paul Wertheimer, a crowd management expert who consults for large public venues, has explained that the biggest cause of stampedes is panic.
Contrary to popular belief, falling and being trampled to death as a result is not the biggest danger in a stampede. It is the lack of oxygen when you are in an upright posture with not much room to maneuver. Just relax and be well aware of your surroundings. Don’t yell because you will only be consuming more oxygen and needing more as a result. The calmer you are, the greater your chances of getting through it all unscathed.
- Don’t Push Against the Crowd or Yell or Scream
Pushing and shoving against others is only going to create more problems. The more you do so, the more likely you are to hurt yourself as well as others. Save your energy as much as possible because you are going to need every ounce of it to make it safely out of the venue.
- Don’t Stay In the Center of the Crowd
If you happen to be caught up in the center of a crowd during a stampede, try your best to make your way out of there and get to the fringes. Do this by going in a zigzag motion around other people instead of in a straight line. This is because going straight will push people in front of you while you may experience shoving from behind.
You never know what might go wrong at a public place where hundreds or even thousands are gathered. Keep these little pointers in mind in case you are ever caught up in such a situation because this is for your own benefit.