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Background to the issue

Discuss about background to the issue, problems at the Love parade, strategies used at Love Parade and justification for the strategies used?

1989 Love Parade was one of the popular music events. Music lovers from all over Germany love to be a part of it. In December 2010, the event was more crowded than expected. Due to this, the disaster happened. The crowd management at the venue was poor and huge number of people arrived at the location. The security officials didn’t put in much effort to control the crowd. There was no crowd management centre so the security officials were not able to get a proper view of the crowd and their behaviour (Wang 2013).

Love is a musical event, which use to take place yearly. Free access was given to all the music lovers. Just like every year, the event took place in 2010 on July 24 and it was a disaster. 1.4 million People were a part of the event and 3200 police officials were present to undertake crowd management. This is held in a close location. The capacity of the venue was just 250,000 people. The police officials were not able to manage the crowd.

Love Parade was an unfortunate event in the year 2010 as 342 people were injured and 19 people died. The event took place in a tunnel. When the crowd started to increase, the police officials blocked the entrance so that more people aren’t allowed inside, but things didn’t happen as planned because audiences entered the venue from the tunnel’s sideways. Crowd management was poor at the event and hence, people started to panic. People started to fell from the staircase when they were trying to escape from the venue. Stampede started and hence, it led to people who were a part of the event.

Ultimately, no one was willing to take up responsibility for whatever happened. The organizer of the event stated that the security officials didn’t manage the crowd efficiently and hence, this disaster happened. On the other end, the security officials stated that the crowd management techniques available at the venue were very poor and hence, they couldn’t control the crowd and hence, they blamed the organizers. The mayor was also blamed for giving approvals for the event and he was also asked to resign. Ultimately, the blame-game continued and no one was ready to take responsibility for the disaster that took place (Mehdi 2012).

Problems at the Love parade

There were certain reasons due to which this disaster took place. It is very important for the organizer, security officials and also the government officials to understand the concern so that such activities can be avoided in the near future. Few of the problems that lead to the stampede are discussed below.

There was no proper planning. The venue wherein the event was planned had the capacity to accommodate only 250,000 people. 1.4 million People were present at the event. Love Parade is a very popular event as it offers free access to the music lovers and at the same time, this has been taking place from 1989. The event organizer was aware of the fact that crowd will exceed the venue’s capability but no appropriate actions were taken (Borch 2013).

When the security officials felt that the crowd is exceeding to an uncontrollable limit, they should have stopped people from entering the venue further. It was seen that no further people were allowed to enter the venue from the main gate, but people continued to enter the venue other possible places. Due to this, the crowd was increasing continuously (Cahan 2013).

Having just one entrance and exit was also a problem. The venue should have been designed with multiple exits. Multiple exits would have allowed lot of people to push out when the tragedy happened. The venue didn’t have any emergency exits as well and this was one of the reasons due to which 19 deaths and stampede took place (HSE 2002).

Various strategies can be used by event managers so that disaster like 1989 Love Parade can be avoided. Few of the strategies that would have been used by the security professionals and organizers so that the disasters can be avoided are discussed below.

It is very important for the security officials to understand the nature of crowd that would be coming for the event. This will help them to understand the energy and the aggressive. If an event is organized for the senior citizens then the event will be peaceful as they would like to quietly sit at their place and enjoy the event but this may not be the case if the crowd consists of young people. It is important for the crowd management team to set up a crowd management centre (Fruin  2002). This centre should be located at a height so that they can get the complete view of the location. This view can help the security team to see things when the situation may start to get out of control. The crowd management centre should also have a mike and speaker that can be used by the security officials to make important announcements. The staff that will be a part of the security team should ensure that they are aware of the responsibilities that they need to handle. A separate team should be in place for the different responsibilities that they will be undertaking. This will ensure that the event goes as planned. The entertainers should be given strict instructions regarding their behaviour on the stage. They should always maintain some distance from the crowd. They shouldn’t undertake any stunts that can attract the crowd towards them. This will ensure that the crowd is disciplined and distraction can be avoided to a great extent (Kemp 2010).  

Strategies used at Love Parade

Importance needs to be given to space management. The space available and the number of people attending the event should be balanced. If the space is too small then the people may feel congested and this may lead to various disasters and at the same time, it will also be difficult for the security manager to safeguard the location. The security officials should go through the space diagram and understand the capacity of the location. The capacity of the space and the number of people will be sync with that of each other. It is the responsibility of the security officials to ensure that more people aren’t entering the venue. Risk management strategies for common risks like fire and stampede should be planned in advance. The security staff should be prepared with the actions for these risks. The security staffs should ensure that the first aid requirements are kept ready so that it can be used as and when required (Spiegel Online International 2010).

Time planning will also help the event to progress smoothly. The event planners should sell tickets to the audiences so that they can get an idea about the number of people who will be a part of the event. Apart from that, if is a complete day event then the audiences should be allowed to enter the venue only for a certain point of time. If the audience is allowed to enter at any point of time then the crowd will increase, beyond a manageable limit (Jiayue 2014). 

The above mentioned strategies would have been the best for 1989 love parade. If those strategies would have been implemented at the love parade then this disaster would have been avoided. The justifications against the strategies that can be used are discussed below.

The people who attended the Love Parade were very young and at the same time, it was a musical event too. The security officials should have well understood the fact that the crowd would be energetic. This fact was not considered for the event and hence, a lot of people were allowed inside the venue. The security officials were making announcement about the situation getting out of control but they were not able to view the exact situation as the venue didn’t have proper security management centre. If there would have been a security management centre then the security officials would have acted immediately when they would have noticed that the situation is getting severe (Huang 2015).

Justification for the strategies used

Lack of space management was one of the major reasons due to which disaster at Love Parade took place. The venue just had the capacity to accommodate 250,000 people, but 1.4 million people were a part of this event. Due to this, the venue was exhausted with plenty of people. The entertainers were freely moving among the audience and due to this, the audience were excited to touch the entertainers. The entertainers should have been given strict instructions on the distance that they need to maintain from the audience. This would have ensured that the crowd doesn’t get out-of-control (Helbing, 2014).  

Lack of time management was a major problem at the event. The audiences were allowed to randomly enter the venue as per the convenience and hence, it was seen that people were entering the venue for a long time period. The event should have had a ticketing system so that the security officials would have been aware of the number of people who were going to be a part of the event (Pretorious 2015).

Conclusion

Lack of implementation of appropriate crowd management strategies at Love Parade was the major reason behind the disaster. The security officials shouldn’t have allowed excess number of people to enter the venue. The timings of entry and exit should also have been planned in advance so that people don’t flow in throughout the day. Space management should also have been planned so that the place for crowd, the place for performance and other required spaces would have managed the crowd in advance.

References

Borch, C, 2013, Crowd theory and the management of crowds: A controversial relationship, Current Sociology, vol. 61, no. 6, pp. 584-601

Cahan, R, 2013, Standing out from the crowd: measuring crowding in quantitative strategies, Journal of portfolio management, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 14-23

Fruin, J,  2002, The causes and prevention of crowd disasters, Accessed on March 24, 2016, From https://www.crowdsafe.com/fruincauses.pdf

Helbing, D, Crowd disasters as system failures: analysis of Love Parade disaster, EPJ Data science. Vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-40

HSE, 2002, Managing crowds safely, Viewed on March 24, 2016, From https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg154.pdf

Huang, L, 2015, Congestion detection of pedestrians using the velocity entropy: A case study of Love Parade 2010 disaster, Physica: A statistical mechanics and its applications, pp. 19-23

Jiayue, W, 2014, Comparison of turbulent pedestrian behaviours between Mina and Love Parade, Porcedia engineering, vol. 84, pp. 115-127

Kemp, C,  2010,  A review of the management of crowd safety at outdoor street/special events, HSE, Accessed on March 24, 2016, From https://www.cheese-rolling.co.uk/health_and_safety/2009_hse_review_on_safety_at_outdoor_events_rr790.pdf

Mehdi, M, 2012, Traffic instabilities in self-organized pedestrian crowds, PLoS Computational biology, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 17-28

Pretorious, M, 2015, Large crowd modelling: an analysis of the Duisburg Love Parade Disaster, Fire and Materials, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 301-322

Spiegel Online International, 2010, The world from Berlin: Love Parade Stampede ‘was a tragedy waiting to happen’, Viewed on March 24, 2016, From https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-world-from-berlin-love-parade-stampede-was-a-tragedy-waiting-to-happen-a-708474.html

Wang, J, 2013, Risks of large-scale evacuation based on the effectiveness of rescue strategies under different crowd densities, Risk Analysis, vol. 33, no. 8, pp. 1553-1563

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