Skip to Main Content

A Stampede Caused by Metal Barricades

broken metal barricades lg

According to an article published by The Commercial Appeal back in May, crowds on Beale Street in Memphis mistook crashing metal barricades for gunshots and started fleeing in all directions. Hundreds of people ran toward the exits, two were arrested, and others ended up in the hospital.

Beale Street is a historic district in downtown Memphis known for live music, restaurants, and large crowds. With tourists and locals gathering for concerts and events the area can get a little crazy. Police and security are often in place as well as metal barricades for crowd management. But what happens when the very thing that is supposed to maintain order ends up wreaking havoc?

According to the article, “Bouncers at Club 152 were ejecting a patron when metal barricades toppled over, causing the loud sounds.”

Pat Mitchell, a representative from the Beale Street Merchants Association said, “When those metal barricades hit the street, they made a really loud noise. Not knowing what that sound was, it scared the crowd in the street into a panic.” The BSMA admits they have an overcrowding problem and they’ve tried different methods to keep order.

The Problems with Metal Barricades

Metal barricades are an outdated, and sometimes unsafe choice. They are difficult to set up, and not very stable when they’re in place (as proven by the Memphis stampede). If the barricades are not properly linked together, the sharp metal corners are exposed. This can cause serious injuries, and recently a cyclist fatally crashed into an improperly secured metal barricade. On top of the safety risks, maintaining these barriers is difficult and expensive. They’re hard to store and rust easily. Many people are making the switch to plastic barricades to avoid these problems with metal barricades.

An Alternative to Metal Barricades

Unfortunately, episodes like this occasionally happen in crowded places. At OTW Safety our goal is to create order in public spaces by providing an alternative to outdated, unstable metal barricades often used at concerts and events. Our high quality plastic Billboard Barricade can be ballasted with water, increasing its staying power. They’re extremely durable, efficient to set up and store and just a little bit friendlier to the people who use them – no rust or sharp edges to contend with! The added bonus is the large display panel area, perfect for businesses and advertisers.

If you manage an event we invite you to learn more about our crowd barriers and how they can serve you, your local businesses, and all the people at your events. We’ll even help you with your event layout, set-up, and management!

The article referred to in this post was originally published by The Commercial Appeal May 31, 2016. Read it here.,