Festival Insights NEWS: Responding to People’s Emotional Needs in an Emergency

John Drury is Reader in Social Psychology at the University of Sussex. He has been conducting research on crowd behaviour for 25 years, including such crowd events as the Hajj at Mecca, the Hillsborough disaster, the 2011 English riots, and the July 7 London bombings. He has provided consultancy and training to a number of event and crowd safety organisations, including the Event Safety Institute (Netherlands), the Roskilde Festival (Denmark) and the Crowd Safety Management degree course at Bucks New University. His research findings have informed guidance on disaster response for the Department of Health, the Cabinet Office, and the Fire and Rescue Service. His group’s research website is here. In this article, John looks at the question of dealing with people’s emotional and communication needs in an emergency.

In my work teaching crowd psychology to professionals in the live events industry, the topic…

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