Events: Outdoor Location Recce Checklist

Date: 02.10.2015     Last updated: 30.06.2017 at 10.51
A guide to identifying what location specific issues should be considered for events. For any given event location, whether outdoors or indoors, a variety of specific issues may need to be considered. Unless a systematic approach is used, issues can be overlooked easily leading to difficulties further down the line.

What Can Go Wrong?

  • Major issues not identified and suitable plans for control not developed
  • Event planning tasks start to overwhelm the event team close to the event date
  • Event license refused and event cannot take place
  • Major or serious incident occurs directly linked to lack of planning

Legal/BBC Requirements

  • There are no specific legal requirements to draw to your attention; you must still apply the control measures that are relevant to your activity.

Control Measures

General Controls

  • Talk to others on site, for example the person in charge of the event and agree what work will be carried out and where.
  • For some items on the checklist, refer to Events – General Guidance pages for further information or consult your Safety Adviser if you’re not sure. Additionally the The Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events” (new version released March 2014), is recognised by the Events Industry as the authoritative guidance document. No one should be planning an event without having access to this guidance.
  • Agree with all parties concerned the specific tasks they will undertake and put in place monitoring arrangements to check completion.

Outdoor Venue Checklist

  • Complete the checklist below; identifying tasks relevant to the event, what needs to be done and who will be undertaking them. 
  • This will then feed into your Risk Assessment and your Event Management Plan

Audience Profile

  • What is the expected number of people attending the event?
  • What is the age range of the audience?
  • What is the expected behaviour of the audience (can previous information be sought)?

Suitability of the Venue

  • Is the site large enough to cope with the production infrastructure and backstage requirements including hospitality and welfare?
  • What is the estimated maximum capacity of people who can attend the event, when all facilities and services have been provided at the site?
  • Will the noise generated pose a nuisance to residents or neighbouring venues?

Geographical Location

  • Proximity to hospitals and emergency facilities?
  • Will the site offer adequate public transport links?
  • Are there major roads within the vicinity of the site?


  • Are there slopes, divets or embankments?
  • Is there flammable foliage or woodland in the area?
  • Are there any overhead power lines/ cables?
  • Will adequate sightlines be provided, (no obstructions in view of the stage)?
  • Are there any water features at the site?
  • Will the landscape hinder audience control?
  • Where does the sun set in relation to where the stage will be sited?
  • Can suitable observation points be arranged if required?

Ground Conditions

  • Can the ground adequately support the loads of vehicles and stages (are there any concealed pits etc)?

Venue Access/Egress

  • Can suitable access be arranged to transport the stage and associated infrastructure to the site?
  • Can suitable access be arranged for the production?
  • Can suitable access be arranged for artists to gain entry to the stage when there is a public presence?
  • Is adequate parking available for the production requirements?
  • Is adequate parking available to the public?
  • Will access and egress to the site pose difficulties for disabled persons?

Emergency Evacuation

  • Are there suitable numbers of exits to the site for the expected number of people?
  • Does the site afford the safe means of moving the expected number of people to safe areas in the event of an emergency?

Emergency Service Requirements

  • Are there adequate parking arrangements for emergency services vehicles?
  • Can satisfactory transport routes be allocated in the site design for emergency vehicles?
  • Will fire appliances be able to access all parts of the site and be able to reach within 50 metres of any structure?
  • Will the site be sufficient for the number of first aid/ rendezvous points/ information points required for the expected number of people? 


  • Does the site provide a suitable power supply.  (If so please request a copy of the inspection certificate for electrical installations?
  • Does the site provide suitable drainage for waste?
  • Does the site provide a suitable water supply?

Division Specific Issues

Radio and Music

  • BBC Radio have special guidance on security at some venues such as night clubs. See BBC Radio Safety and Security guidance at Music OB Events

FAQs/Did You Know?

  • The information on this page is also available as a word document.

 Safety Guides - Quick Links

About this site

This site describes what the BBC does in relation to managing its health, safety and security risks and is intended for those who work directly for the BBC.

It is not intended to provide instruction or guidance on how third parties should manage their risks. The BBC cannot be held liable for how this information is interpreted or used by third parties, nor provide any assurance that adopting it would provide any measure of legal compliance. More information.

Links: Some links on this site are only accessible when connected to the BBC network