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A new professional entertainment and event trade association has been formed to tackle the varying levels of competence in the event sector.

The Event Safety Managers Association (ESMA) co-founders are well-known event safety specialists Steve Blake and Chris Hannam.

Blake, the founding director of STORM 4 Events, a specialist event safety, security, crowd safety and counter-terrorism consultancy and training company, said: “The competence of event safety advisors and consultants operating within the industry has become a major issue and the association has been founded in order to give event organisers, promoters, Local Authorities and Government agencies the confidence in the event safety professionals that they engage, employ or attempt to assess. The association will carry a list of its membership, their level of qualification, the experience and responsibility signified by their level of membership. Competency will be the focus.”

Event safety is a specific sector of health and safety practice, which has possibly the widest skills scope of any sector. ESMA aims to  bridge that gap by establishing itself as ‘the major independent voice’ of UK live events.

The association wants to support safety managers, consultants and advisors from all areas of the festival and live event health, safety and welfare including production and site management, crowd management, structures, environmental noise, emergency and contingency planning, fatigue, equipment, mental health, noise at work, workplace transport, fire safety, security, medical and first aid, stewarding, worker and visitor welfare, special effects and counter-terrorism sectors, by helping to both influence legislation, develop standards, mentoring, training and provide the festival and live events industry.

ESMA will focus on festivals, concerts, touring, corporate events, one-off shows, exhibitions, product launches, trade shows, broadcast, etc.

Chris Hannam, formerly a production, tour and stage manager with experience including production for the main stages at Glastonbury Festival, added: “The formation of such an organisation is now long overdue and is needed as an industry voice to promote high standards of safety management in an area where live event organisers and promoters are often confused, misled or oblivious about selecting properly qualified and competent safety advisors for their events. While we fully respect the work of IOSH, IIRSM, NCRQ, NEBOSH and the British Safety Council and others, these organisations just do not fully cater for the needs of the live events industry safety managers, we will, however, involve and work with them wherever possible.”

For further information please see the ESMA web site at