There are over 300 Summer music festivals in the UK and Glastonbury is not just the biggest but is also one of the best and it’s proudly held here in the West Country. This is the annual opportunity for all you partygoers to let your hair down, get really muddy if the weather is cruel, drink, camp out in tents and enjoy a world renowned event – so long as you go prepared and avoid some hazards. I’m referring not just to the visitors but also the hundreds of people that work at Glastonbury, many of whom are volunteers. The 2013 Ultra Music Festival has already seen two workers seriously injured when part of the main stage collapsed, bringing down a fairly large part of a seven feet tall LED screen.
Researching the history of ‘Glastonbury Festival’ led me to a great article written by Tom Chivers [The Telegraph] in which he recalled some notable events from earlier years. In 1990 the largest crowd up to that time witnessed violence between security guards and New Age travellers resulting in a good few injuries and 235 arrests. Little wonder that such a big event now comes with a policing bill which, in 2011, involved 1323 officers at a cost of £1, 588,765. Glastonbury Festival brings with it huge logistical problems and, despite enormous effort by the organisers, there are going to be those who suffer injuries caused by accidents, crime or simply an overindulgence in alcohol and drugs. A number of people even suffer head and neck injuries every year as a result of ‘crowd surfing’ but mostly to people in the crowd rather than the surfers.
Your legal rights whilst on someone else’s property are the same at Glastonbury Festival as anywhere else but, for obvious reasons, there are going to be practical difficulties in pursuing a claim for negligence. I would prefer to echo a few safety tips which includes making sure that you stay in touch with your friends, let them know where you are – and you know where they are. Keep your mobile with you, but keep it hidden and keep it charged up. Remember to eat and drink but include a regular intake of the non-alcoholic type to keep hydrated. If you take regular medication make sure you have it with you because it’s no fun having to trek a ½ mile through thousands of people to retrieve a tablet from your tent – assuming you can remember where your tent is! Don’t go wandering off on your own and if you have some treasured valuables leave them at home; if they’re that precious they’re not worth losing! Make sure you know where the medical facilities are and report any incident to a steward or to the police.
This might seem a bit dramatic when all you want to do is have a good time but when Glastonbury Festival has finished, the stage is gone and the fields are quiet again you don’t want to be in hospital with an injury that leaves you wondering what might have been if you’d followed a few basic tips. Have a great Glastonbury.
Harris Fowler has a team of specialist personal injury solicitors who can offer advice to anyone who suffers a personal injury whilst on someone else’s property. Free and confidential legal advice is available on 0800 213 214 or visit our website www.harrisfowler.co.uk
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