Менеджмент The Prodigy выпустил пресс-релиз про ситуацию, связанную с организацией концерта на фестивале Woodstock (Польша).
Если коротко, то организатор фестиваля не построил защитный барьер перед сценой и обвинил группу в непрофессионализме. В пресс-релизе рассказывают, что такой барьер на самом деле нужен не для ограждения группы, а для безопасности посетителей и что на всех мероприятиях с большим количеством людей такие барьеры обязательно строят, поэтому обвинения группы неоправданны.
THE PRODIGY PERFORMANCE AT WOODSTOCK FESTIVAL, POLAND, 06/08/11
The promoter of the Woodstock Festival in Poland – Mr Owsiak – has made false accusations against The Prodigy, their production crew and ourselves as representatives, regarding ‘unsafe’ and ‘unprofessional’ practices following their performance on Saturday night 6th August 2011.
These accusations are categorically denied.
It was brought to our attention by our production manager Karel Hamm on Friday night that Mr Owsiak had no intention of providing a safety barrier in front of the stage, despite signing a legally binding contract agreeing to installing barriers on April 4th 2011. As the biggest open air European festival with a 500,000 capacity - the provision of safety barriers is acknowledged as an essential practice at all festivals in Europe and indeed the world, and NOT a demand from the band to protect themselves. We want to protect Polish lives. The safety barrier was insisted on by the bands’ manager John Fairs to protect the crowd; to allow access of security and medical staff to the fans, who were pulling people out and over the barrier when they had exhaustion etc, also to allow water to be given to the audience, including the fireman’s hose that was cooling the crowd - none of this would have been possible with the crowd directly in front of the stage without a safety barrier to protect them. Without this Mr Owsiak – and his event – would have been putting the crowd at huge risk, especially given the subsequent promoters report of 670,000 people in attendance. In reality, an event of this size should and must have several barrier lines. Woodstock is clearly in breach of the No 1 goal of The European Festival Association – YOUROPE – of which they are a member. Yourope exists to:
“educate and inform its members with seminars, workshops and panels. Yourope tries to raise the standards in Health & Safety in the festival business”
The festival may have been organised in line with Polish law however it was certainly not run in line with European regulations. Even in Poland it is common practise for Events organisers to adhere to the HSE Events Safety Guide which stipulates that safety barriers must be placed in front of the stage at all times not just during a performance by The Prodigy. AlterArt whom organise Open’er, Coke Festival and Selector Festival refer to the HSE Events Safety Guide, Go Ahead who organise Jarocin Festival refer to this guide as do Good Music and Charm Music. It is common practice in Poland due to outdated Polish legislation. It is important to ensure the safety of our audience taking into account all potential eventualities. Barriers are in place to protect the safety of the audience, not the band.
To our great relief we have been informed that there have been no serious injuries, but given Mr Owsiak’s response to the safety barrier we can only say that this is the most unsafe festival I have worked at in 25 years and would urge all promoters and artists to consider very seriously the inevitable consequences of severe if not fatal incidents at an event which has no regard for the audiences’ health and safety in front of the stage.
Further allegations have been made to the detriment of the band’s character that are utterly false. The reason they travelled to and from the site with a police escort is to avoid chronic road congestion. There are always traffic queues in and out of festival sites - it was quoted by that 124,000 vehicles attended the event. All headline artists use police escorts to get through traffic when severe delays are possible. It is necessary and not arrogant. Furthermore, it is advisable for the band to leave immediately after their performance to avoid the congestion leaving the site. This is a fact and NOT as the promoter said due to concern that the safety barriers had caused injuries amongst the crowd, as we believe has been insinuated in the media.
We all have nothing but respect for the great work Mr Owsiak and the charity does, which is why the band came out to support him and the Polish people, but the crowd safety situation does need to be thoroughly re-addressed ahead of any future events.
John Fairs (Manager to The Prodigy) Tony Duckworth (Polish Label Manager Mystic Prod)
CPA (Concert Promoters Association):
New HSE legislation which came into effect in April 2001 made health and safety issues a major priority. The introduction of the corporate manslaughter legislation will mean that all promoters must constantly reassess possible safety risks at their events. Crowd management has also been a priority issue in the wake of Roskilde.
HSE Event Safety Guide
If audience pressure is expected a front-of-stage barrier will be necessary. Factors to be taken into account include audience density, the likely behaviour and size of the audience and the nature of the venue. For most concerts, some form of front-of-stage barrier will be required.
Joint promoter statement from Good Music, AlterArt, Charm and Go Ahead:
The HSE Event Safety Guide is widely used by Polish Event companies and promoters including AlterArt, Go Ahead, Good Music and Charm Music. AlterArt are the most experienced Festival promoter in Poland and they use the HSE Event Safety Guide as they believe that these regulations offer the best safety for attendees of such events whether they be spectators, media or artists. All the above companies believe it is best practice to use the HSE Event Safety Guide in the absence of adequate Polish regulations.
Lukasz Minta – Go Ahead Artistic Agency (Poland)
In my opinion the lack of protective barriers on such a big festival as Przystanek Woodstock, where thousands of people have fun, can be a cause of tragedy. Fortunately so far no such tragedy has occurred but the situation which happened at Roskilde Festival in 2000 during the Pearl Jam performance or last year at the German Love Parade show that the smallest oversight can create negative effects. We organise Jarocin Festival, where every year a much smaller number of participants attend than at Woodstock, I can’t imagine running Jarocin without protective barriers. No professional security company would not have taken steps to protect an audience at such an event, barriers are necessary as a basic safety principle. Another issue is the fact that Woodstock’s organiser had to accept The Prodigy rider conditions, where without doubt there is a paragraph relating to safety barriers. I am surprised that the issue arose on the day of The Prodigy performance.
Festival Republic Ltd (Melvin Benn, MD – Glastonbury / Reading and Leeds Festival ):
The decision John Fairs made was, in my opinion, wholly appropriate and correct. We work hard on public safety at festivals in the UK and very much apply tested science to ensure that barriers are used in high pressure situations as is always the case when The Prodigy play and the science suggests that the most appropriate height for the body to withstand the pushing pressure is 1.2m high and that the barrier should be able to withstand 4.6 Kilo Newton pressure at that height to ensure maximum safety for the fans. While the lack of barrier works for many people and many shows - as it obviously did in Poland at times - it is your artist and their fans that you have to protect and I think that by insisting on a barrier for your show will certainly have resulted in less injuries than had there not been a barrier and for that you should be applauded.
T in The Park, Scotland – Festival Boss Geoff Ellis
At T in the Park, we use appropriate barriers at every stage for audience safety. On the primary stages, where audiences can reach 60,000, they are absolutely essential and we would not consider operating without one. Also, it is very unlikely that the event would be granted a license from the local council if we did not use stage barriers. For our Main Stage we felt the need to add a secondary barrier several years ago to increase audience safety. Stage Barriers also enable stewards and medics to access the crowd easier if anyone is experiencing difficulties. We risk assess all acts on all stages and due to the lively, intense nature of a Prodigy audience we would always increase stewarding in the pit between stage and barrier to maximum levels.
Live Nation, UK (Toby Leighton-Pope):
In the UK we at Live Nation take health and safety very seriously, we would never put on an event of this size without a safety barrier. Its sounds extremely dangerous