Crime sprees, crowd trouble cast dark shadow over concerts

Features
By Kirsten Kanja | 5 months ago
A packed concert in Nairobi. [Courtesy]

When it was announced that Nigerian superstar Adekunle Gold was coming to Kenya on November 13, fans were excited. It was yet another shot in the arm for the entertainment sector after nearly two years of silence.

Dubbed the Destination Festival Africa, the event held at Ngong Racecourse, promised a good time.

Also lined up to perform were Kenyan stars Nyashinski, Otile Brown and Fena Gitu.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A social media user going by the username @Malcandi took to Twitter the day after the concert to say his lady friend was raped at the packed event.

“Whoever raped my friend at Adekunle’s Concert parking lot! May you never know peace,” Malcandi shockingly tweeted.

The concert attendee also called out a hospital, which he said refused to admit his friend at the time of the emergency.

The post attracted a lot of attention. There was shock, the question of safety while at live concerts, victim shaming and cries for justice.

Whoever raped my friend At Adekunle’s Concert parking lot! May you never know peace??

To the ladies who helped me calm her down may blessings follow you ????????
Nairobi Women’s wtf! How can you tell such a patient at 4am to go home and come back at 9am!??? I just don’t get it. — BOYCHILD (Malcom x) ???????? (@Malcandi)

In a 2015 feature titled 'There’s a rape problem at music festivals and no one seems to care', Canadian-American lifestyle magazine Vice castigated the persistent yet under-discussed problem.

The website recommended that festival organsers need to be trained on potential situations and ensure all incidents are investigated and reported.

“Many things happen at festivals that organisers don't want to publicise. We want them to openly acknowledge problems and make it clear they are doing something about them. We want the whole music industry to be open about issues as a first step to doing something about them. The music industry must not make matters worse by pretending incidents are one-offs,” an activist said on the report.

Dan Odhiambo, an events planner behind the popular Kikwetu Festival says concert goers should never have to worry about their safety while attending a live event.

That, he insists, is the responsibility and burden of the event organiser.

“If a festival customer has to worry about his well-being, it takes away from the fun and the purpose of attending the function,” he says.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Another tip when heading to a live performance is to pay attention to any warning and security concerns ahead of the function.

Forbes reports that revellers should pay attention to early warnings, noting that before the recent tragic stampede and crash at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, concerns had been raised.

A key factor that organisers need to consider while planning a live event is having a comprehensive emergency response plan.

Safety tips to keep in mind at events:

1.     Get to know the layout of the venue early, take note of emergency exits, safe rooms and security stations

2.     Stick together with friends and have a meeting spot to assemble in case you are separated

3.     Leave valuables behind or keep them extra safely

4.     Organisers should receive adequate training on potential situations and ensure all incidents are reported and resolved

5.     Beware of security warnings and concerns ahead of the event

6.     Party safe; keep tabs on how much alcohol you are drinking and avoid binge drinking. Eat meals  and drink plenty of water

7.     Watch your drinks to avoid spiking, whereby another person deliberately adds alcohol or other drugs to an unsuspecting person’s drink. Do not share with or accept drinks from people you do not know or trust. Better still, buy and pour your own drinks.

Source: HealthDirect Australia, BuzzFeed, Forbes, The Odyssey Online

 

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