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The Event Chain of Survival in the Context of Music Festivals: A Framework for Improving Outcomes at Major Planned Events

  • Adam Lund (a1) (a2) (a3) and Sheila Turris (a1) (a4)


Despite the best efforts of event producers and on-site medical teams, there are sometimes serious illnesses, life-threatening injuries, and fatalities related to music festival attendance. Producers, clinicians, and researchers are actively seeking ways to reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with these events. After analyzing the available literature on music festival health and safety, several major themes emerged. Principally, stakeholder groups planning in isolation from one another (ie, in silos) create fragmentation, gaps, and overlap in plans for major planned events (MPEs).

The authors hypothesized that one approach to minimizing this fragmentation may be to create a framework to “connect the dots,” or join together the many silos of professionals responsible for safety, security, health, and emergency planning at MPEs. Adapted from the well-established literature regarding the management of cardiac arrests, both in and out of hospital, the “chain of survival” concept is applied to the disparate groups providing services that support event safety in the context of music festivals. The authors propose this framework for describing, understanding, coordinating and planning around the integration of safety, security, health, and emergency service for events. The adapted Event Chain of Survival contains six interdependent links, including: (1) event producers; (2) police and security; (3) festival health; (4) on-site medical services; (5) ambulance services; and (6) off-site medical services.

The authors argue that adapting and applying this framework in the context of MPEs in general, and music festivals specifically, has the potential to break down the current disconnected approach to event safety, security, health, and emergency planning. It offers a means of shifting the focus from a purely reactive stance to a more proactive, collaborative, and integrated approach. Improving health outcomes for music festival attendees, reducing gaps in planning, promoting consistency, and improving efficiency by reducing duplication of services will ultimately require coordination and collaboration from the beginning of event production to post-event reporting.

Lund A , Turris SA . The Event Chain of Survival in the Context of Music Festivals: A Framework for Improving Outcomes at Major Planned Events. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(4):437443.


Corresponding author

Correspondence: Adam Lund, MD University of British Columbia #316 - 255 Newport Drive Port Moody, British Columbia V3H 5H1 Canada E-mail:


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Conflicts of interest: No funding was received for the work presented in this unsolicited paper. Adam Lund regularly engages in volunteer and contracted positions in clinical and medical direction roles at events across Canada. Sheila Turris regularly undertakes volunteer and paid roles at major planned events.



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The Event Chain of Survival in the Context of Music Festivals: A Framework for Improving Outcomes at Major Planned Events

  • Adam Lund (a1) (a2) (a3) and Sheila Turris (a1) (a4)


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