Attending an event in Ghana is just one of the few ways to entertain oneself in Ghana. From music awards to gospel 'rock shows' to stand-up comedy nights, our entertainment scene is littered with many of these concerts and award nights. Personally, I like the Night of a Thousand Laughs and Ebo Whyte's stage plays first for their originality and endless laughs they both bring.
But of late, or rather for some unrecorded time now, I have realised one thing which many organisers fail to do or do which puts many audiences and lives at stake. They fail to regard numbers and rather oversell tickets to maximise profits. Profits is good no doubt about that. But at what point does an organiser choose profits over human lives? What point am i driving at? So this weekend, Kirk Franklin performed live at the Perez Chapel as part of the annual Adom Praise and from what i heard it was a wonderful performance and praise experience. What i also heard and read on
Modern Ghana was how the 14,000 capacity church was over-filled and bursting at its seams with massive number of people.
The organisers claim they have no clue as to how more tickets were printed despite reaching the limit for the venue. Of course they would say that. I called a friend at JoyFm to ask if any ticket was available and he said although it was finished, the organisers were printing more. Erm...so does that mean there are internal people within the organisers camp illegally printing more tickets and selling them without managements knowledge? My friend Emma who attended the show said there were people buying the tickets and then going back to the end of the queue to sell at a higher price to the mile long queued audience hopefuls at the church. What i found ridiculous and almost laughable was that the VIP ticket holders didnt get a VIP treatment. In fact their seating became just like the 'Popular Stand'. lol! I also heard that one time during the performance, the organisers or the MC asked people sitting up in the upper balcony to minimise their jumping. Why? Because the building isn't totally completed and its still fairly new, you do not want to weaken the structure with all your jumping. Oh you don't say. This isn't the first time an event has been over-filled due to ticket oversell. Ticket sales is > than venue capacity. I attended Night of a Thousand Laughs some years ago and ended up sitting on a step inside the theatre. I was so cramped afterwards! What kind of treatment is this? Some friends complain about how they ended up standing through out an event despite paying for expensive tickets. Recently, we heard of how people lost their lives during an anointing service at TB Joshua's church. Stampede be what.
What are our event organisers disregarding when organising large seating capacity events
SAFETYThere is total disregard for the safety of the audience/congregation during musical concerts, evangelism nights and movie/music award nights. I cannot recollect one time whereby before an event starts that the MC or the host would inform people on emergency fire exits in the building or how to proceed in the event of an emergency. God forbid if anything should happen where will people pass or what would they do? In emergencies, people panic naturally but if they know what to do, the potential for injuries or fatalities would be much reduced. Event organisers should take safety very serious when organising such events, they should place the attendees/audiences first instead of their monies ahead of safety.
Event organisers shouldn't think safety is costly. Lives are more valuable. Investing in safety measures shouldn't be something to disregard when it comes to event management. Sometimes something as simple as cable management can even save lives. Cable management is simply ensuring that the cables running from all the equipments; DJ equipment, speakers, lights etc are all cabled or cellotaped to the ground, this will reduce the risk of someone tripping over the cables and breaking or spraining a leg. I am sure a few of these incidents have occurred before at one event or the other yet nothing is done about it. Better yet hide the cables from areas of high people traffic.
Every event organiser is responsible for his workers and the audience at an event, trust me that when an incident occurs and you are being sued, the law will hold you responsible. There should be a liaison between the event organiser and venue owner to ensure that any safety risks are reduced to keep people safe.
Churches should be implementing these measures as well. The congregation numbers at many of these miracle nights, evangelism nights are just incredible! But what procedures are in place in the event of stampedes for anointing oil? Or healing? Or placing of hands? God has given us the wisdom to put these procedures in place, you know.
With my background in Safety, I am fully aware of emergency preparedness so i often get worried about this lack during such events. We are too reactive in this country. Lets get proactive!
Ask yourself these 5 questions if you are an event organiser and you are reading this:
In the event of a fire at my event what would i do?In the event of a structural failure what do i do?Will i be prosecuted if an incident occurs at my event?What impact will an incident have on my event? Will i still have clients?Will I continue to make profits even after a disaster occurs at my event?
What has been your worst experience at any event you have attended? Share it please!
For some safety tips on organising an event read this article or this .