Stages and platforms

Stages and platforms are relatively common at events. It is important to understand your obligations as the event organiser for the construction of your stage and/or platform.

You will also need to detail these structures in your risk assessment and risk management plan.

When building a stage, as the event organiser/contractor, you should ensure that:

  • all rigging is carried out only by licensed and suitably experienced staff
  • elevated stages have a buffer zone between the crowd and performers, which can be used by security personnel and first aiders to access patrons needing assistance. Barriers in front of stages can be positioned in a ‘V’ shape to deflect a forward moving crowd to the outer perimeter of the stage and in turn prevent crushing. This also prevents unauthorised access to the stage.
  • that all plant used in connection with the construction of the build is operated only by licensed and suitably experienced staff
  • the edge of the stage is marked with white luminescent tape

Note: Professional crush barriers are sometimes required to protect the crowd, to give security a space between the crowd and the stage and to protect the performers on the stage.

Discuss this risk measure with the performer’s agent and the staging company.

Where stage heights are greater than two metres, the front skirt around the base of a stage must be constructed so as to break-away under the pressure of a crowd surge, allowing spectators to be pushed under the stage rather than being crushed against its base.

Stage ramps

Ramps to the stage must have a non-slip finish with a gradient of 1:8 (Accessible gradient 1:14) and have handrails.

Edges of ramps to be marked with white luminescent tape.

Temporary seating

Portable single chairs should either be secured to the floor or grouped together in groups of four.

Entries and exits

Entrances and exits to your event site must be designed to cater for the type of crowd and number of patrons expected.

Ticket sales areas should be located in the vicinity of, but separate from, the entrances themselves.

Entrances and exits should:

  • be kept clear of all other activities
  • display all applicable permits and conditions, ie. siting and POPE permits
  • have clear, well-lit entrance and exit signs
  • have control points for searching for prohibited items (glass, weapons, alcohol, drugs, metal containers) that don’t impede entrance to the event by crowds
  • have site maps located nearby
  • have sufficient and appropriate barriers, fences, gates and/or turnstiles
  • have toilets located nearby
  • provide a secure area for storage of confiscated goods
  • provide access for emergency services and their vehicles
  • provide access for wheelchairs
  • provide exit and escape routes
  • provide for supervision, marshalling and directing of crowds
  • provide separate entrances and exits for entertainers and staff – if possible
  • separate vehicular and pedestrian access
  • paths of travel to exit doors must be kept clear of obstructions and electrical equipment.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 21 September 2021