Thoughts from Cuckoo HQ
Apr 14

Questionable Event Safety Practices At The White House

I was very surprised to see some of the barrier arrangements employed for the Annual Easter Egg Roll which takes place at the White House, hosted by President Obama and his family.

I was channel hopping and I'm an event nerd so when I saw an outdoor gig with a large amount of people I took a closer look.

It turns out I was on the E! channel and was watching 'The Wanted Life' which is a reality show following the boy band The Wanted on their travels. 

In this segment they'd been invited to the White House to perform and read stories to the 30,000+ people at the Annual Easter Egg Roll event in the White House. It was last year, 2013. 

The White House website estimates 30,000 plus people attend the event. 

Safe as (White) Houses?

The way the show was edited it definitely gives the impression that the situation in the picture below is at the 'pit area' which would be front of stage. 

Where you see the green picket fence buckling as the crowd surge forward to get closer to one of the band members is where there SHOULD be mojo barriers. 

I've written before about the importance of mojo barriers

Now. To be fair, I'm willing to accept that this may NOT have been at the front of stage. 

That said, irrespective of where it was, it was clearly in a position where it NEEDED to be mojo barrier.

Anyone with a clue of events and crowds should have realised that there needed to be mojo barriers there.

To be fair again, maybe there's an argument to be made that the lads from The Wanted went 'off script' and went somewhere they were not supposed to. In that case there may be an argument to be made that there weren't proper barriers there, as the lads were not supposed to be there. If the lads weren't supposed to be there then someone may have decided that particular area didn't need mojo barriers. 

Assuming the above WAS the case, then this is still managed very badly. If the band indicate they're going where they shouldn't, someone should have stopped them. If they didn't have time or if the lads insisted then there should have been a troop of safety & security staff there to make sure this wasn't dangerous. That wouldn't be ideal still but at least there would be people to help avoid a collapsing picket fence. 

And furthermore

So, on top of the issues above, there was also this. 

So, bad and all as the that green fencing is from a crowd safety perspective, they then opt to use normal crowd control barriers (CCBs) along with them. You can see from the shot here that that are is clearly under an amount of pressure and seems to be near the stage area, based on the excitement of those in the shot to take photos etc. and the height of cameras etc. 

This is bad too.

ALL areas that can reasonably be foreseen as likely to come under crowd pressure need to have mojo barriers

I would like to think that things will have improved when the event happens this month. 

Here's hoping. 

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