Balancing the Moral Scale of Events: When is it time to say no?
20th March 2017
Event managers design and create unforgettable experiences across the world every day, many of which contribute significantly to the economic wealth of their host cities and towns. However, it comes to a point where the economic benefits need to be weighed up against the fatal consequences that occur at events. Leaving us with a key question that needs to be asked, when is it time to say no to organising controversial events?
A prime example of this would be horse racing events, as despite their popularity and regal heritage, the perilous nature of these sporting events are continuously questioned. The most recent horse deaths at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, highlight the negative repercussions of such events held in the UK.
However, with just under a quarter of a million attendees passing through the gates over the four days, Cheltenham Festival is an extremely successful event that can achieve substantial benefits. With the horseracing festival driving £100 million into Gloucestershire each year, it may be difficult to see past the economic remuneration and weigh up the fatal consequences that occur as a result of the event taking place.
The three fatalities caused by the event this year reiterates the event’s brutal nature. Cheltenham Festival has now made its way to the top of the league for the most horse racing deaths within the last 17 years, totalling to 56 overall.
As the planning commences for Cheltenham Festival 2018, we must consider how many horse deaths can be justified in pursuit of economic gain?
Equally, music festivals also present event managers with this moral dilemma. With independent festivals contributing more than £1 billion into the UK economy between 2010-2015, the festival experience economy is also booming.
Many festival organisers design their events based on the concept of escapism, which may promote open-minded and liberal actions amongst attendees. Some would argue the idea of escapism has gone too far, with festival organisers encouraging out of body experiences and anti-social behaviour through their theming. One example of this is demonstrated through the ‘Glastopia’ theming at Glastonbury.
Consequently, festival attendees are frequently abusing this experience through the illicit use of drugs, which has ultimately resulted in an abundance of arrests and numerous fatalities. A recent BBC documentary highlights these drug-related deaths presented at UK festivals.
Boomtown, a Music and Arts Festival, currently holds the UK’s highest festival death rate for drug-related incidents, totaling to 4 deaths within 7 years. This, coupled with many other drug-related fatalities at UK festivals, is noticeably alarming. How many more lives must be taken to outweigh the economic impact of hosting events?
Namely, another event falling guilty to several fatalities includes the TT and Manx Grand Prix motorcycle racing events in the Isle of Man. Since the advent of Tourist Trophy racing in 1907, both events combined have one of the highest fatality rates in UK sporting history, killing a total of 267 people, of which include riders, spectators and marshals.
Dubbed the world’s most dangerous sporting event, the races are the island’s greatest source of income; attracting over 50,000 visitors, and generating approximately £25 million. Nevertheless, the event is still relentlessly slaying all those at stake, with 11 killed in just one year.
It is clear the aforementioned events all share common ground, but how do we as professional’s form decisions and balance both sides of the moral scale? Do we base them on what’s right or wrong or is the subject too ambiguous? It’s apparent that a balance of morals isn’t one that is determined by a set of rules, instead it’s a decision based on individual interpretation.
Leaving us with a key question that needs to be asked, when is it time to say no to organising controversial events?
Great blog that provokes a really good question. With the Cheltenham festival in particular, unfortunately I think that the wealth this brings along with being one of the biggest festivals to put Cheltenham on the map, is seen to outweigh the negatives. Even though it’s awful that there are horse fatalities almost every year, I think that moral obligations come in to play more strongly when human beings are involved rather than animals. Whether this is right or wrong, there is a greater perceived risk to the lives of human beings being harmed than animals in events.
With festivals, again I don’t think these will ever be stopped due to the fact that people have died, however Events Managers need to be innovative in their approach to maintaining a ‘safe’ level of drug use if this is to carry on. The below article suggests that using police dogs to sniff out drugs may scare festival goers & deter them from finding out what is really in the substances they take, however professional drug testing has seen a more positive uptake encouraging drug users to find out what their substance contains which could change their view in taking the drug.
I think this is a great example of how Events Managers can exert their moral obligation even in these tricky situations. If such events will still go ahead, we know we have done everything we can to ensure a safer environment.
Thank you for your response! We agree that risking the lives of human ranks much higher in the priorities of event managers. However, looking at our case study for the Isle of Mann TT have the moral obligations for humans slipped the net here?
Regarding the festivals, the blog you shared was really interesting and certainly something that should be implemented at more UK festivals. Do you think then that the duty of care is the responsibility of the police/security teams rather than that of the event managers?
It would be interesting to see your view on this. We look forward to hearing from you .
Team Moral Dilemmas.
That’s an interesting point, I think we must work with police & security teams etc. to ensure our duty of care and uphold it to the highest standards. I definitely don’t think we should be complacent as Events Managers & certainly not pass blame to other teams/individuals. Working together on these issues I believe is the best way to reduce these risks as much as possible.
A very interesting blog. In terms of control, don’t event managers already do a risk assessment to place appropriate control measures in place? Is it up to licensing authorities to review drug use at festivals and for security teams to “police” this during the event? Whilst these dangerous occurrences at the events you mention are regrettable, we are discussing very large events, that are already under particular legal scrutiny. The moral dilemma is one where the law is silent and then it becomes a case of what the manager is willing to do beyond what the law says, and this becomes an ethical and economic balancing act. To ask whether these types of events should go ahead is to ignore the vast numbers of people and participants that experience the event with little or no problems…
Thank you for your comment, it’s been really interesting hearing your opinion on our blog. In response to your first question, yes event managers have an obligation to carry out a full risk assessment, particularly for high risk events. However evidently not all risk assessments are fool proof and even when accidents happen, is doing a risk assessment enough to protect the event manager?
With regards to policing events, we think it is the ultimate responsibility of the event manager to ensure that drug use is policed appropriately. However, do you think event managers are hiding behind authorities or that the responsibility is passed onto them as soon as they step on site?
Lastly, we agree it is wrong to take experiences away from attendees, however do you think these exciting experiences are based upon the dangerous nature of them? If there was no element of risk, would these events be as successful?
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Team Moral Dilemmas.
This blog was very thought-provoking especially with myself attending the recent Cheltenham festival it does make me second guess do I want to encourage this by purchasing a ticket? I do despise the fact that horses are put down if injured and it all comes down to ‘no voice no choice’, we have to trust that the owners, trainers, jockey, vet etc. but overall the event managers, do they know best to continue celebrating the festival every year?
Great to hear your response to our blog. We totally agree with your first point. Do you think if more people were aware or the issue, they would choose not come. Or does the overall experience and atmosphere outweigh the fatal accidents?
In response to your second question, perhaps event managers of these events are ‘just doing their jobs’ and don’t consider the potential consequences?
We look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Team Moral Dilemmas.
I agree these events seek the benefit of economic gain, and with no doubt any death due to the participation of any sport is unpleasant, however these events exist due to a demand and contribute millions to the local and national economy. Yes, there are fatalities, but these sports are highly regulated; horse racing ensures the highest possible standards for their horses and jockeys, providing excellent care, and routinely working with organisations such as the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare. Even with such reported deaths and ‘brutal nature’, Cheltenham Racecourse still saw tens of thousands of punters come through its gates, proving people still attend regardless if they support the horse racing or not.
Thank you for your comment, your opinion is really interesting. We have certainly considered your point, which is evident through the vast amount of money Cheltenham Festivals brings to the local economy.
However, do you think if more people knew about the harsh consequences of these events, they would reconsider attending? Or do you think attendees are aware, but their experience is based on the thrill of a dangerous event?
We look forward to hearing from you!
Team Moral Dilemmas.
I think people are aware of the true realities of such events and I don’t think they attend for the dangerous factor. Perhaps it’s more due to the social aspect or the high status of being part of a prestigious event that happens every so often. Especially when you have days for example, Ladies Day creating buzz, exposure and income for the economy and attendees.
To further on your comment on festival organisers designing their events based on escapism, which as stated may encourage anti-social behaviour, surely to take this away would hinder the spirit and message of a festival? As long as event managers have taken the necessary precautions to decrease risk, have adhered to set laws and requirements, does it not become the responsibility of the attendee?
Thank you again for your interesting comments. Would you agree that people attend, for example ‘ladies day’ for the party, rather than what the event is intended for?
We agree that what an attendee choses to do is their own individual responsibility. People could say, “they should not take drugs in the first place”, however, we know that young people will indulge in this behavior if they want to. Glastonbury lasts 5 days, and this becomes a carefree environment where attendees will not bat an eyelid when it comes to partake in this behavior. Perhaps event mangers should help the public separate truth from misconception? External factors such as high temperatures, sleep deprivation, not eating much food, and dehydration—will impact drug-taking in ways users might not realise. So could event managers look to encourage attendees to look after themselves better?
Team Moral Dilemmas!
I agree horseracing is a very controversial event, its a tricky one, it has been around for decades and has become an established sport in British tradition. If horseracing events were banned due to controversy that would be another British tradition lost. Similarly, with the Boxing Day tradition of fox hunting – in order to keep the tradition alive many gather on Boxing Day as usual in remembrance of the tradition. Personally, I do not agree with fox hunting but I do believe its so important to remember and hold on to our cultures traditions and British heritage. My question would then be, how could event managers possibly create such a popular event that attracts thousands and thousands of attendees of all ages and make it just a popular as horseracing, without the animal cruelty?
Thank you for your interesting and insightful comments. Tradition is a great way to differentiate British culture, and in a sense it is what makes Britain so unique to the rest of the world. This idea of animal cruelty, builds on the contemporary thinking about human–animal relationships. This also highlights how it is considered a ‘sport’ when the animals appear to be unwilling participants. Which enables us to view this as animals being constructed as a form of human entertainment. Perhaps what underpins these events is the element of risk, and the buzz and excitement it creates for its attendees. The future of jumps racing is under debate, and suggests inherently higher risks both to the horse and the rider than that of flat racing. So if we are talking about ‘horseracing’, it could be that event mangers and other parties involved implement flat racing, regardless of tradition?
Team Moral Dilemmas!
This discussion is a common topic raised when working within the horse racing industry.
I think the question needs to be asked to event attendees as these are the people ultimately paying for the experience? If there are no attendees there are no events maybe this will eventually happen in the future?
When it comes to festivals regardless of what risk assessments, safeguarding, security and checks event managers do ultimately we cannot control what attendees choose to abuse their bodies with.
Thank you for your comment. Interesting point in regards to focusing on the attendees opposed to event managers. After all, event managers will not discontinue an event if the majority of the public are happy. Although, as an event professional yourself Dean, when would the line be drawn for you? Would you feel comfortable knowing that four people died at your Festival from drugs? Or would you regard it as not your fault as you’ve implemented as many risk reduction strategies as possible?
We looking forward to hearing from you!
Team Moral Dilemmas
We find it interesting that you are looking at the attendee’s perspective as opposed to the event manager’s. As a fan of horseracing events ourselves, the safety of horses is not our first thought when purchasing a ticket. From a recent discussion with a safety expert at sports venues, we discovered that horseracing events have a lot more flexibility and fewer restrictions than other sports. Football for example is highly risk assessed and regulated due to the past incidents that have occurred making them more secure. In which case, it seems it would take a ‘hit’ from a safety point of view for there to be more restrictions put in place for horseracing – but what will this hit be? How many animals have to suffer and die before an event is questioned and deemed unethical? It would of course be a different story if it were 56 people that were killed…
This is a very interesting read and I hadn’t really thought about this aspect when buying a ticket for the races and I am guessing that most people do not either. Deaths from controversial events are not widely advertised and if they were this may deter people from attending these types of events and therefore the demand will decrease and the event will not occur. However, even though these events do cause a large number of deaths I believe that they will continue to be organised due to the amount of interest they receive and the revenue they create. Therefore, what strategies are event organisers putting into place to prevent these deaths from happening?
Thank you for your comment.
Do you think this blog will influence you attending such events in the future? A few people have mentioned that perhaps this blog should have been aimed at festival attendees, which is a valid point as attendees determine an events future.
We agree with you, money is powerful and it helps create a vast amount of impacts, therefore, it’s common for event managers to neglect an events immoral side.
Risk assessments and security checks are implemented prior to an event; however, do you agree that some of the impacts are out of an event managers control?
Team Moral Dilemmas!
Hi Team Moral Dilemmas,
Yes, I believe it will influence me attending these events as it has definitely broadened my knowledge on this issue and I will most certainly think twice before buying a ticket again. I also agree that maybe it should have been aimed at the consumers for the reason you have stated.
I also believe that some of the impacts are out of the event manager’s control due to consumer’s having free will and even the largest number of control methods could not prevent the actions that consumers take which lead to negative consequences. Therefore, I feel that if these negative consequences were publicised, consumers would think twice before their actions.
This is a thought provoking blog. The challenge here, as in all moral dilemmas, is one of values; where individuals determine what is important or valuable to them. Collective they become described as what is right or wrong, good or bad and in so doing defined by societal norms. In the case of horse racing and the TT society identifies this is not wrong in the a sense of the law, while drug taking is wrong because it has been described as illegal. Event managers have a moral obligation to look after the welfare of those who attend their event and or those entities involved in their event (e.g. horses); based on the shared value of ‘do no harm’ which gets interpreted as ‘reduce risks through risk assessment and implementation. Those managers at Cheltenham and on the Isle of Man complete their assessments with diligence, those at your case study of Boomtown are obliged to also do this. What more can you expect from an Event Manager who is operating within a framework that ‘seeks to minimse risk and harm to participants’ in a sector that seeks to promote wider societal values of ‘profit making (and sharing)’, ‘ ‘having fun’, and ‘individual choice and responsibility for owns own actions’?
Thank you for your reply and we appreciate your thoughts.
Firstly we’re glad you have picked up on the intention of our blog. We wish to provoke thought and debate amongst event professionals about their perceptions of right or wrong.
Some event managers wouldn’t wish to be a part of these types of events and we wanted to perhaps understand why some do.
Though these events are not against the law, they do cause loss of life, whether that be animal or human they create a moral dilemma of whether this is justifiable for people to ultimately ‘have fun’.
Perhaps there is not more than can be done to prevent these tragedies without ruining the experience of its attendees. However morally where do we stand if we as the next generation of event professionals don’t ask these questions?
Team Moral Dilemmas!
This article made me think about issues that I didn’t give much thought to. I don’t think event organisers should be held accountable for deaths , if the venue has taken all reasonable steps to prevent fatalities. As a horse owner, I know thoroughbreds after centuries of being bred to race, see a stretch of grass – and just want to gallop! These horses are not forced to race, they want to race. So course builders have a responsibility to plan safe courses and the owners have a responsibility to ensure that their horses are fit enough to cope with the event in question and jockeys need to be experienced enough – but that is not the event organisers’ responsibility, the racecourse in question is accountable as they are the ones with the knowledge of horses, access to vets, etc.
With music festivals, most have an over 18 yr entry requirement – so the attendees are “meant” to be adult and take responsibility for their actions. Event organisers cannot be accountable if someone chooses to take drugs, but the advertising for the event can be held accountable if the advertising makes a joke of drug use, or makes a play on words that indicates that drug use will be acceptable or make the event more enjoyable. Whoever is organising Boomtown, must be held accountable to some extent, if the fatalities at Boomtown are four times higher than other, similar music festivals. Something is seriously going wrong with the running of that festival – is it the advertising/is it lax stewarding/is it the reputation of the festival that “anything goes”???Is there a police presence? Whatever the cause, the problem at Boomtown should have been addressed – so why hasn’t it been?
If an adult decides to race around a dangerous course on a very dangerous vehicle, namely a motorbike – that is their choice and it is safer for the general public if these people are racing in an organised event where the roads have been shut to the public, rather than screeching around public roads. There are motorbike fatalities every day on public roads, so shutting down the event would not reduce the annual, UK death rate by much. I can’t see how event organisers can be held accountable for the fatality rate – if the competitors wanted a safe sport, they wouldn’t choose motor bikes!
At the end of the day, big sporting events/music festivals bring in much needed revenue to the surrounding areas – in the form of B and B’s/hotels/pubs/restaurants/tax firms, etc- as well as the less visible benefits – some places rely on this revenue to keep afloat for the rest of the year. Events should not be cancelled, but if the same problems occur year after year, event organisers need to work with the venue to “wise up” and investigate what is going wrong – they can never stop problems but they can reduce the cause.
Thank you for your insightful response, it’s great to hear the opinions of someone with a knowledge of horses. Regarding this specific case study perhaps in the future we need to consider interacting with the racecourse opposed to the event organiser?
We agree- the problem at Boomtown needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Perhaps if they implement changes, other event organisers will follow suit. We strongly feel the event managers at Boomtown need to reconsider whether this event should still be going ahead. How many deaths need to occur for the event organiser to realise a change needs to be made, does it need to be the death of a loved one opposed to a regular attendee?
With regards to Isle of Mann Motorcycle racing, the sad reality is that not all of the fatalities listed above are participants, some include spectators and security. We do agree with you that it is the choice of the participant here to risk their life, thus the event manager is ‘covered’. However, should event organisers be held accountable if they are harming those other than participants.?
The events play such a large part in the host destination’s economy, thus we cannot ask for these event to be cancelled. However, what we can do is to continue to remind event organisers of their responsibility to both human and animal!
Team Moral Dilemmas!
An interesting read, however in my opinion, so long as the Event Manager has lowered risks as far are possible and met legislation/regulations in doing so, and there are people willing to still undertake this minimized risk, whilst having people wanting to attend the events too then organisers should continue to meet the demand.
It also comes down to risk v’s reward – jockeys do know the risk to them and their horses (which I don’t believe they intentionally would ever want to injure as that’s their livelyhood), however still want to get the reward whether monetary, to entertain or for personal feel good factor. Same with people riding bikes at the TT – the rider didn’t have to get on the bike that day but they choose to, they had a desire to win. The event manager is merely giving them that chance within a controlled environment.
Thank you for your comments. We understand that it is the Event Managers job to lower the risks as far as possible and if the ‘attendee’/participant choses to partake, then of course it is at their own risk.
From what you are saying, you believe it is the responsibility of the participants in these events? Would you then argue that it is also the attendee’s responsibility to stop attending events that produce these risks? Or are events as a whole always going to pose risks to society? All these events hold some sort of tradition. Perhaps it is time for Event Managers to think about how they can create new and exciting events that do not pose risks to humans/animals? Although, it could be that this element of ‘risk’ underpins why people attend events and why they continue to flourish.
Team Moral Dilemmas!
Unfortunately I do not feel that you will be able to stop attendees going to these events, by simply banning them you’ll drive the industry ‘underground’, for example like street fighting.
People often attend these events because there is risk involved and in some instances that is part of the enjoyment. For example if you asked anyone who is a fan of F1 they’ll probably comment on the crashes in a race before the result and in the spectators areas at the tracks people pay more money to sit in these ‘crash prone’ areas.
I found this article really interesting. Horse racing and the number of deaths caused by the event for human entertainment deeply upsets me and it is definitely something that plays on my mind. It is not something I would annually attend or a decision I would ever take lightly. Personally, I believe when animals are involved the ethical consideration should be greater from an event management perspective as animals cannot choose whether or not to be involved unlike festivals for example, when the human is consciously choosing to put themselves at risk by taking drugs. With this said, I understand traditions are not something that can easily and calmly be ended and many would see the revenue and human enjoyment generated by the event as more important than the ethical concerns. I think event managers have an obligation to put procedures in place to try and minimise the risks of human fatalities at their events but realistically, how much more can they actually do?
Thank you for your comment. We agree, this is why we chose the topic as we wanted to bring light to the issue. However, the horses are bred for racing and its argued that they get a ‘buzz’ out of racing, although we don’t know this is correct for every horse which makes it difficult. In regards to music festivals, we believe event managers aren’t communicating the severity of the issue to their security staff. Security staff allow thousands of pounds worth of drugs to be entered into festivals. However, if the security stopped everyone and checked them thoroughly, this would be highly time consuming and it may lead to customer dissatisfaction. Which is more important customer satisfaction or drug checking? It’s a tough call.
Team Moral Dilemmas!
Hi Team Moral Dilemmas,
Thanks for responding. That is an interesting point and I can see where you are coming from but I personally disagree. Battery hens are bred to lay eggs but does that mean they get a ‘buzz’ from being thrown around, shoved in cages too small for their bodies, forced to constantly produce eggs then eventually be chucked in a truck with thousands of other hens and be slaughtered just so humans can get slightly cheaper meat and eggs? I’ll admit, it’s an extreme comparison as I am sure horses are treated with a lot more compassion but my point is, why is it ok to breed an animal (and allow pain, suffering and death) for human enjoyment? This goes back to my point about the animals not being able to communicate how they’re feeling so this raises the ethical question in my mind. Why don’t we just stick to watching humans to entertain ourselves? There are many other large scale events which do not include animals. In answer to your question, whether it be drugs, animal cruelty or another questionable issue, I personally believe that the customer’s satisfaction should be sacrificed if it meant doing ‘the right thing’. People will always find new ways to entertain themselves and there will always be new/alternative ways of making money, but what cost can you put on a life? Human or animal.
That is a very interesting comparison you have used. However, race horses are treated extremely well and studies have shown horses enjoy racing, whereas, I agree with you- battery hens have an awful life. We aren’t saying we agree with horse racing but unfortunately the racing is fundamental contribution to a host community’s economy and it doesn’t look like the events are going to be stopped anytime soon regardless of the potential ethical issues. Therefore, we feel it’s the event managers responsibility to safeguard these events as much as possible in order to prevent the loss of both human and animal life.
The issues raised throughout this blog are very thought provoking!
Having attended some of the above events discussed in your blog I found this really interesting. I had not really realised the severe consequences of these events however this has really made me think about whether now I am aware of this, if I would still go along and support the events.
Due to the way you have laid out the fatalities in the tables this has really reaffirmed just how dangerous they can be and I believe this was really effective throughout your blog!
Glad you think our blog is of interest and has made you think twice about attending certain events.
Many people don’t realise the dangers of events and in some unfortunate cases, the fatalities they cause.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts,
Team Moral Dilemmas
Hi guys, interesting piece and I can understand the points of view.
However trying to impose a moral code on people and essentially telling them what to do because you don’t agree with it is a slippery slope, and starts to set dangerous precedents going forward.
Looking at the cases you raised individually there’s also some other issues;
Horse racing occurs 363 days a year either over jumps or on the flat with horses dying regularly either at home while training or accidents on course, you cannot just take Cheltenham in isolation. This is an industry that supports hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and Ireland alone never mind globally. So any action would need to be taken on the industry as a whole. Which then destroys careers and livelihoods of a lot of people from breeding, trainers, jockeys, to stable staff, to on course staff, etc etc. The other issue with racing is a lot of the people involved and that attend, are from a more rural background and therefore have a much more practical and utilitarian view of animals, and they are not viewed as pets, more as assets and workers, which comes back to trying to impose a moral code on people that all have different view points, so equating animal loss of life to humans is a non starter. There are enough human injuries and deaths in the sport that you could have gone down that road and tied it together more with your other case studies. I would also say if one eats meat at all,but tries to take the moral high ground with horse racing compared to industrial farming then you need to have a think. They are bred for this, they enjoy it, and they live better lives than most of us! (One was recently taken from Cheltenham to an equine hospital with a police escort!)
Regarding festivals; I think you seem to have confused counter culture and anti establishment behaviours, with anti social. These are all groups of like minded people in a contained area all doing similar things, not a group of kids on a street corner harassing old ladies. I would suggest attending some events and seeing how anti social they are! The issue here isn’t the events it’s government policy on drugs and policing, but there in lies an entire essay itself! Similar to racing, this is a multi million pound industry that serves demand and provides a safe regulated space for people to enjoy themselves for a few days a year.
Obviously individuals are entitled to work for or support whatever events they choose, but you can’t start telling people what to think, or how to enjoy with their free time to this extent.
Thank you for your comment.
From the blog we are not trying to impose a moral code on people or tell them what to do, we are presenting the moral dilemma and weighing up the benefits and negatives and posing the question for individuals at what point would they would draw the line for these events.
We decided to focus on Cheltenham as it is contemporary and many opinions and discussions are shared at this time of year but agree if changes were to be made it would need to be worldwide.
We appreciate that everyone has different views on animals but as you can see from the comments below there are actually a lot of animal lovers who do think it is immoral to use animals for our entertainment, what are your opinions on this?
We decided to choose a variety of case studies to demonstrate the scale of economic benefit VS death hence the route of festivals. If festival attendees are groups of like-minded people doing similar things, is this suggesting drug use? If so why are event managers hosting events which allows this?
We totally agree everyone should be able to attend whatever events they please, but when life is at danger are these multi-million-pound events worth the deaths they cause?
A really interesting blog post and very though-provoking as to whether i would buy a ticket for future horse racing, however I do believe it is part of the British culture and heritage and why shouldn’t we keep that alive? With it putting Cheltenham on the map and bringing a huge economic gain nationally and locally, there is obviously a strong demand for it within society.
In regards to festivals, I agree that event managers have a duty of care towards it’s attendees but is it really the event organisers fault for over dosing on drugs? How does the theme of the festival impact a attendees choice to take part in recreational activities? These events will continue to be organised as long as they are in high demand from paying attendees.
Thanks for your comment.
We totally agree that It is important to keep heritage and British culture alive but do you think that this and the economic benefits are enough to justify the deaths of the horses at the events?
We are not suggesting the fault of the event manger when it comes to overdosing of drugs, but considering a duty of care especially at Boomtown with 4 deaths over 6 years of the festival running, as an event manager how many deaths are too many deaths?
One example that could be seen of theming encouraging recreation activities in Glastopia linked in the blog what are your thoughts on this ?
Really interesting blog!
I have noticed in a lot of comments on this blog that people are aware and may not agree with horse racing due to the number of deaths, yet they are still attending the events due to the social aspects. I definitely agree that this issue is a decision based on individual interpretation.
If horse racing was to be ‘banned’, it must be taken into consideration all the jobs that would be lost and it would be very sad to have a tradition taken away from us, not to mention what would happen to all of the horses! A similar situation is fox hunting, which has now been renamed trail hunting due to the ban in 2004. Fox hunting is another tradition, which does also claim lives of both horses and riders due to accidents. However, this is a hobby for many people and a career for others.
Overall, an event manager must take traditions and British heritage into consideration, as well as the fact that you are never going to please everyone.
Thank you for your comment Jade.
As you said, with horse racing we have found many attendees do not agree with the horse deaths but mainly go for the social side. If event attendees attend for the social aspect is it justifiable that horses die because of this?.. Have you ever attended a racing event if so was it for the sport or the social aspect?
We are not suggesting banning the sport as we agree it is a tradition and the economic impacts from the event are substantial. But will it ever get to a point that the deaths of these horses outweigh the positives?
We agree that event managers will never please everyone, but currently the majority support the event and the tradition do you think this will ever change?
Team Moral Dilemmas!
It seems quite difficult to draw the line when ethics and morals are put into question on events. Would it help if the background information is provided or people are properly educated about controversial events? (maybe also being formally taught in schools to students)
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