Here are the best practices for planning for and handling communications in the unfortunate event of a crisis:


This is the most important stage of crisis planning. It is where the key role-players prepare for various scenarios and what actions need to be taken should something happen. The scenarios can be range from injury, a security issue, an artist no-show or even death.

For every scenario, a line of command needs to be established, statements pre-written and clear communication channels established beforehand.

Understanding what could go wrong helps the production and communications team plan for and avoid them.

Live crisis management

A crisis occurs, or is beginning to develop. Here, the team acts promptly to collect and process information for the crisis team — helping inform the decision making and the evolution of the pre-written statements and messaging. The success of crisis management hangs on the decisions that are made at every step.

It's best to have one spokesperson, with the comms lead collating information from the various parties and funnelling it to the spokesperson. Information is only provided to the media when needed; blanket statements are generally not issued proactively.


At this stage, the crisis management efforts are evaluated and follow-up crisis messaging is issued where needed. This relates to press statements to:
  • attendees
  • the media, and
  • internal stakeholders.
It should inform each party of what took place, what the cause was and what the next steps are.

Keeping stakeholders constantly informed of the investigations and findings is extremely important as it helps repair trust and shows that the festival organisers care.

Planning and quick action are key. An effective crisis communications plan not only hangs on what is said and done once a crisis has taken place but is what is said and done at the first signs of a crisis.

For more information, visit You can also follow One-eyed Jack on Facebook or on Twitter