I keep myself to myself in the crush of the crowd…

“We’ve had some word that there is some bad red rope licorice circulating in the crowd….”. How can you stay safe at gigs?

As you may have gathered from the repeated use of song lyrics for my blog titles, I’m a little bit into my music.

Yes, arranging one note after another in such a way that you get McCartney’s ‘Frog Chorus’ moves me in a way that little else does.

It’s not only music that floats PC Stanley’s police boat though. As you may have gathered from this here blog and supporting Twitter feed, I’m a computer nerd too and so as a result, I’m pretty big fan of the old social media.

Put these two interests together and what do you have? Well, I’ll tell you. You have #gigsafe.

If you’re cool enough to be following @brumpolice, the official Twitter account of the Birmingham Central & West Local Policing Unit, you may have noticed some of their #gigsafe tweets going out ahead of artists hitting the city’s happening music scene.

The quirky tweets, incredibly popular with followers and often retweeted by the featured bands themselves, tie in sound crime prevention advice with the band’s songs to help ensure gig goers emerge from the mosh pit with roughly the same amount of blood, phones and Converse trainers that they went in with.

I’m looking to join in with the #gigsafe fun over the next few months but thought it might be a good idea to summarise some of the key safety tips on this here blog to help you neon painted live music fans get the best of your nights out.

Starting from the top then and written from the perspective of a seasoned ‘gig attending guy’ (Muse, Carling Academy, May 23rd 2001 with Cooper Temple Clause supporting – who else was there to see Matt Bellamy recklessly throw his guitar into the crowd?), here are my top tips for staying #gigsafe -

  • Easy on the drink: Just because you can get ten pints for ten pounds at Blast Off doesn’t mean you should get ten pints for ten pounds. Take it easy on the old Jägerbombs and remember, not getting run over by a bus is much harder when your veins are 90% filled with Jack Daniels.
  • Don’t do drugs: Offered red rope licorice in the toilets? First of all you’ve know idea what you’re putting into your body and secondly, get caught and rather than seeing Alt-J, you’re likely to end up with The Police.
  • Keep you valuables hidden: Was the gig #awesome? Fine, but maybe wait until you’re safely in a taxi before tweeting it – thieves love it when people advertise what phones they’ve got when they stumble out the Academy with their ears ringing
  • Plan your route home: Make sure your plan for getting home is more constructive than “I’ll just crowd surf back to Perry Barr”. You won’t. Get a taxi booked, check the train timetable or find a friend called ‘Des’ and ensure that they don’t drink and can drive you home.
  • Stick to the well lit areas: We all know what happened to Bruce Wayne’s parents when they walked down a dark alleyway. Stick to the main roads and with the crowds.
  • Avoid dodgy taxis: If you are going to get a taxi, you’re always better off with one that is an actual licensed taxi rather than with some shady guy who’s got a Metro and an expired MOT. The taxi should be displaying a badge as should the driver, for more info see here.
  • Lost and stolen aren’t the same thing: Lost your phone whilst stage diving? There’s a big difference between ‘lost’ and ‘stolen’ so if you do find that you get home minus your mobile, think very carefully before reporting it as nicked simply to get a crime number. We have a habit of finding out the truth.
  • Be nice: Don’t do that thing where you pelt Daphne and Celeste with bottles at the 2000 Reading Festival.

So there you have it, a relatively constructive guide to staying #gigsafe.

For more tips, check out our Twitter feeds and if Swedish Simon & Garfunkel/Fleet Foxes conglomerate First Aid Kit are coming to Birmingham any time soon, let me know as I’m pretty keen on seeing them.

Stay safe, hipsters!

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