Responding to Gang Violence at a Public Event
For the Sydney Royal Easter Show, maintaining its reputation as a safe, value-for-money family event is paramount. When gang violence visited the Show in 2022, the Dentsu Creative Public Relations team was ready to swing into action.
On the evening of April 11, 2022, a fight between a small group of young males in the carnival area of the Showground resulted in the fatal stabbing of a 15 year old boy.
Thorough and effective issues preparedness meant Dentsu Creative PR joined the Show’s crisis team to develop a swift response.
We guided the Show team on responses that would maintain public confidence in the safety of the Show.
This included demonstrating the investment in patron safety, closing the carnival area for 24 hours and re-opening with reduced hours, a greater police presence, metal detectors and changes to ticketing.
Central to our approach was working closely with NSW Police on a response, including our media response to present a united front and reassure Show patrons.
A clear response plan was communicated to internal and external stakeholders (members, ticketing agencies, ticketholders, exhibitors etc.) and to media on the night on the incident.
The CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, General Manager of the Show and NSW Police Assistant Commission stood shoulder to shoulder in a press conference on April 12 to condemn the violence and explain the measures put in place.
The media complemented the Show team on how well and transparently we responded to the incident and the Show continued for its scheduled next eight days with near sell-out crowds each day.