On Thursday 4th May, AFO members from a range of different festival from around the UK attended an AFO Training Day at The Hawth Theatre, Crawley. The session was delivered by Andy Grove of HighGrove Events Limited who had tailored the session specifically to meet requirements specified by AFO members in relation to risk assessments and road closures.
Whilst covering the basics of risk assessment in terms of the legislation, what they are and how to do them the session went further looking at responsibilities and liabilities and the importance of risk assessments and safety being embedded into the heart of festivals and being much more than a paperwork exercise. The group were able to ask questions and share their own experiences with each other to help them improve what they do for their own festivals.
The road closure session was more challenging in finding definitive answers and guidance of what to do and how to do largely because of the lack of any comprehensive national guidance and the variations of interpretation and implementation by each local authority. The session explored ways in which road closures could be done without the need to rack up expensive bills and paying traffic management companies to carry out simple tasks that have been done for years without them. Andy’s experience of working within local authorities was a huge advantage here as he stressed to the group the importance of finding someone within the authority that deals with closures and building a strong working relationship with them based on trust.
Andy said, “It was great to meet a diverse range of AFO members and I was impressed with their knowledge and experience and even more so by their drive and commitment to learn and better themselves and their processes.”
What the delegates said:
“Highly recommended, even for experienced organisers. Went well beyond the basics and dealt with real practical issues. I feel much more confident to challenge statutory authorities when I think they're misguided. Time very well spent and well worth the drive to get there. Also, excellent value for money” Bob Adams, Arts & Event Management
“This Training Day would be of use and interest to those already used to completing risk assessments and applying for road closures as well as those coming to it with less experience” Alan Castle, Tenterden Folk Festival
Onto the next …
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