Crowd disasters occur when people are given insufficient information and space (Sime, 1999). It is rarely the case that only one factor causes a disaster (Helbing and Mukerji, 2012). In particular, increase or decrease in density is the difference between crowds moving from a ‘jamming’ to a ‘non-jamming’ state, accumulating over time resulting in a sudden shift of crowd dynamic state (Smith, 1995; Zheng et al, 2010). Research suggests that when density increases above 5 people per metre squared (ppm²) threshold, members of the crowd lose individual movement and behave as one entity (Fruin, 1993; Helbing and Mukerji, 2012). When density reaches this critical level, physical movement is almost impossible (Alkhadim et al, 2018) causing “crowd turbulence” (Helbing et al, 2007). The high pressures that develop within the crowd are powerful enough to bend steel barriers and push down brick walls (Lee et al, 2006). People are unable to control their bodies due to pressure, as each breath is exhaled and pressure prevents inhalation causing slow death by asphyxiation.
I get a blank look when I tell people I work in "crowd safety". I ask if they ever attended an event; arrived safely, guided into the venue, found their seat, watched the show and then guided back to their transport, barely noticing the journey? That's crowd safety.
If I am over a decade into my career and facing the challenge of an industry that has totally collapsed, then I can share an understanding of what those who are only preparing to enter the industry could be feeling. Event Management has only become a subject of study within
Evidence has shown that restrictions on mass gatherings implemented early on in pandemic can greatly reduce the risk of transmission. However, research in virus transmission at mass gatherings is showing varied evidence in the association of size with the transmission of influenza.