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Spotlight on Safety for Shows Outdoors

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Jim Digby, tour manager for Linkin Park


"Jim Digby, the tour manager for Linkin Park, knows better than most how dangerous a rock ’n’ roll show can be. In 1983 he was a 19-year-old technical director at a new nightclub outside Philadelphia when a piece of equipment he was operating came off a faulty overhead track, plummeted toward the floor and killed a young woman standing just a few feet from him.

For Mr. Digby the Indiana disaster was a turning point. During the past year he has organized a campaign to improve safety at outdoor events, and, though his group’s efforts are in the early stages, he has garnered support from AEG Worldwide, one of the nation’s largest promoters, as well as from stage manufacturers and leaders of the IATSE, the stagehands’ union.

Mr. Digby’s organization, the Event Safety Alliance, is pushing the outdoor concert industry to adopt national standards not only for stage construction but also for emergency procedures during bad weather and other crises. Those standards would be based on a guidebook published by British workplace-safety authorities that has become widely used in Britain and elsewhere in Europe.

These tours have begun hiring meteorologists as well. Last month Linkin Park became the first rock band to have its touring operation receive the National Weather Service’s StormReady seal of approval after the band hired a consulting company, Weather Decision Technologies, to provide warnings on weather hazards. The band has also drawn up thorough plans for weather emergencies, federal officials said. “We are really hoping people will follow their lead,” said Richard Smith, a warning-coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "


Read the full article on the New York Times website. Thanks to Jen for the link!

Do you think that outdoor events need extra safety? What do you think about the article?

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on a serious note I do think this is a great project.

My sister free-lances on events (and I've even done some volunteering as a steward) so i know how rigourous the safety is on outdoor events in the UK. I'm surprised that there isn't already something similar in the US.

 

anything that improves the safety of an event, for both staff and attendees, is a welcome addition to the industry.

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For a better world with LP and their guys. This is it. Who else has so many serious interest?

Exactly. LP cares about so much stuff it's incredible. Protecting their fans at the shows, cutting convenience costs for fans when buying tickets, meeting 50~ LPU'ers every show (even festivals), picking demos we want to hear for the fan club CDs, doing online chats, etc...band cares a lot. Really awesome. Digby seems like a true boss, I like the fact he's spearheading this effort.

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I'm defiantly backing Jim on this and forwarding this article to my HR at work. I work for an entertainment company called Staging Connections and we have numerous amount of polices in place to make sure both us employees and all guests are safe at any event we are involved in. There's been some serious incidents like a good 70-80 kg Avenger light stand come crashing down smashing a table to bits. Lucky it happened during a rehearsal and no one was hurt. But it is a serious and very dangerous business so I'm glad to see someone out there trying to improve the safety for everyone.

 

/2cents

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