Festival Safety: The Art of Mass Gatherings Approach

Embracing a whole community approach to safety and preparedness means helping event producers master the art of mass gatherings. Gatherings like festivals, concerts and other special events are simultaneously powerful and vulnerable. They can be joyful, life-giving experiences, but they can also be a forum for disaster. They can elevate a community’s sense of pride and identity, yet they can be a source of enormous waste and missed opportunities.

The Art of Mass Gatherings approach is grounded in skill-sharing between creatives, events producers, and the agencies and businesses that serve our communities. Performers, organizers, promoters, vendors, audiences and even the public can be incorporated into a collaborative network and engaged through proper planning and communication. Providing a clear understanding of the myriad systems involved (including water, waste, electricity, communications, and shelter) will allow everyone to collaborate better in times of celebration and crisis.




  • COVID-19 modifications
  • Life safety, health and public welfare
  • Legal concerns and emergency plans
  • Weather emergencies
  • Enhancing accessibility
  • Mental and physical health first aid
  • Crowd management
  • Waste, water, and power systems
  • Harm reduction, gender safety and trauma-informed practices
  • Maximizing community engagement