How Oasis pioneered concert riot prevention planning

A former tour guide for Led Zeppelin discussed the measures bands are now being advised to put in place to be ready for crowd riot situations.

Steve Allen said he came up with a “showstopping procedure” while working on it Oasis in the 90s, which can include being ready to stop playing and even changing the planned set list to deliver soothing ballads instead of rousing anthems.

Riots are nothing new, but the focus has been on artists’ responsibility for audience welfare since then Astroworld tragedy last year, when rapper Travis Scott was accused of failing to act when 10 people died and over 300 were injured during his performance.

“I will guarantee that since Astroworld, management companies are telling their artists, ‘If you see this happening, under no circumstances incite the crowd,'” Allen – now a crowd safety consultant – told Guardian in a recent interview. “If someone says ‘stop the show,’ then stop the show. If not, it will be the end of your career.”

He recalled performing his emergency procedure at an Oasis show in Scotland in 1997, saying the energy was “off the Richter scale” and he had spoken to Noel Gallagher about being ready for problems. “I explained to Noel that if we didn’t have this system in place there is a strong possibility that someone will be seriously injured.”

Allen stood at the security barrier, ready to signal to the band if the show had to be stopped. “We had it down to a tee,” he said. “We must have stopped 17 to 25 different shows around the world; the tape was 100% compliant. They didn’t want a death or a major incident at their concerts, simple as that.”

Since then, the procedure has evolved to include inviting police officers from future shows to attend a previous one so they know what to expect, along with a clear radio communications policy. Artists are encouraged to speak with security personnel between songs and may be ready to “choose a slower track to simmer down the energy in a room.”

Allen argued: “Everybody has a duty of care, but the artists are up on stage to perform for a crowd. They should have people in their seats.” He added that vigilance was essential: “You might think,”Rod Stewart: No problem. Wrong!’ I see the genuine excitement among [all people at gigs] like they have a Willy Wonka ticket.”

Concerts that turned into riots

Sometimes shows can get out of control.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.