Your guide to staying safe at concerts

Music blasting at over 100 decibels, shoving, pushing and a lack of personal space are all characteristics of some concerts that, while enjoyable for some, can create a risky environment for others. Events like 2021’s Astroworld have brought several concerns over how to stay safe in crowded areas. Thanks to tips by experts on the topic, I have compiled a few “rules-of-thumb” to make sure you can still have fun, while staying safe.

Rule Number One: Always wear sneakers, training shoes or high tops. Wearing high heels or open-toed shoes can increase your chances of slipping, and in case of an emergency, having stability can help. Sneakers and training shoes reduce your chances of falling in cases where you may need to run. 

Rule Number Two: Eat well before the event and make sure you can either buy water or take a bottle into the event. Staying hydrated decreases the probability of you passing out or having a medical emergency.

Rule Number Three: Don’t wear any accessories you would mind getting stolen or losing. In crowded environments, it can be hard to keep track of all of your belongings, such as your phone, purse or bag. So wearing jewelry or other accessories that can be easily stolen or torn off may not be the best idea.

Rule Number Four: Stay on the edge of the crowds and avoid the “mosh pits.” A mosh pit is an area where people push or slam into one another, usually close to the front of the stage. While some enjoy the mosh pit, others can be put in danger because of the aggressive movement.  

“Once you enter such a crowd, you no longer have control over your environment,”  Rami Hashish, a body performance and injury expert said on CNN. “How you move is no longer dictated by how you want to move, but rather, how the crowd is moving you.” 

Rule Number Five: Just flow with the crowd. If you manage to get yourself into an area where a crowd is moving strongly, don’t try to fight against the movement. Fighting it can cause you to trip and fall, which can be worse than just moving with the crowd and eventually finding a way out. 

“Staying safe and having fun are the two most important things at a concert,”  junior Brady Babin said. “The key to both is to make sure you have access to plenty of water and never go towards the front of the crowd if you know you can’t handle it. Closest to the stage is where the crowd is most aggressive and you are most likely to get hurt. Staying with your group is also important so nobody wanders off alone.”

Rule Number Six: Notice where the security guards are and the exits of the venue. Understanding your surroundings can help you know where to go in case of an emergency. Knowing where the security and medical personnel are can help in situations that require trained professionals. 

Rule Number Seven: Always protect your head and never duck down unless necessary. If you drop something, like your phone or jewelry, be very careful, as this is when you are typically the most susceptible to getting trampled. 

“Upwards of 60 percent of injuries in mosh pits are to the head – these can range in severity from a bump or bruise to a traumatic brain injury,” Hashish said. “And can be the result of flailing arms, getting pushed into another person, or falling to the ground.” 

Rule Number Eight: If you fall or find yourself on the ground, get into the fetal position, curving your body inwards with your head down, arms and legs pulled close to your chest, and the left side of your body against the ground. This position will protect the most important parts of your body, your lungs and your heart. This also prevents people from falling directly on your stomach and back, which can cause you to suffocate. 

By following these general guidelines, you can reduce your chances of getting hurt, or worse, and still be able to enjoy an event like a concert or music festival. While it is important to be prepared for emergencies and know some “rules-of-thumb,” don’t forget to enjoy yourself.