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Whenever a large group of people assembles in a specific area, the chances of a medical emergency in that area goes up exponentially. The sheer number of individuals coupled with the potential for injury caused by any number of incidents adds up to high odds of somebody needing medical attention at some point. This is certainly the case for concerts and music festivals, where any number of things can happen which can put someone in harm’s way and in need of immediate medical care.

Are you a medical professional with a passion for seeing musicians perform live? If so, being part of a team of event medical staff present at a concert or music festival might be your idea of a dream job. Sites such as specialize in helping nurses and other medical professionals find work in travel-based settings. This includes opportunities to travel the country with a crew of medical staff working with a band on tour or going from one music festival to another over the course of a year.

For those of us who simply enjoy going to see our favorite musicians play live while also catching a glimpse of new acts, the role of event medical staff often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Even if we see someone in the crowd is hurt or sick and watch them be escorted away, we typically don’t think about what happens to them once they’re out of view. Our attention turns back to the artists on stage and the action of the roaring crowd.

There’s no denying the importance of medical staff on standby at concerts and music festivals. For example, at Woodstock – arguably the most iconic music festival of all time – there were two deaths and at least one birth reported to have occurred (some say up to three births happened, but there’s never been verifiable proof.) Given the festival was attended by over half a million people, these figures are shockingly low. Yet they demonstrate the fact that it’s an inevitability that large gatherings of people will mean medical emergencies at some point.

While the symptoms for most people tend to appear once they’ve returned home, festival flu is more than capable of taking hold over a person’s immune system before they’ve packed up. Described by the American Lung Association as a result of second-hand smoke, limited access to handwashing, and simply coming into contact with so many other people from different places, festival flu might be no worse than the common cold but it still packs a wallop for festival-goers when they’re undersupplied on medicine and many miles from home. Medical staff overseeing these events become angels in these situations, providing means of relief from nasal congestion, sore throat, and other symptoms associated with festival flu.

The most notable reasons why medical staff are critical for concerts and festivals tend to be related to drugs and alcohol. Whether it’s a drug overdose or injuries resulting from behavior while under the influence, these risks are almost always present at live music venues. Professionals trained in how to diagnose and treat overdose and serious injuries are oftentimes the difference between life and death.


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