Ravinia Festival Emergency Operations Plan


Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States. Located along Lake Michigan north of Chicago, it is vulnerable to numerous manmade, natural, and technical hazards that could adversely impact operations, as well as pose a threat to the safety of Ravinia’s patrons and personnel.


The client hired Hagerty to design a customized, all-hazards Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), as well as conduct tabletop exercises among staff and external stakeholders.


Hagerty convened an Emergency Planning Team consisting of key Ravinia staff, venue stakeholders, transportation authorities, and public safety officials from surrounding municipalities, and worked with the team to solidify plan goals and objectives.  For the second step, Hagerty staff conducted a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA) to identify potential emergencies and the consequential impacts to Ravinia, and developed the framework of the EOP to address the emergencies identified earlier. Hagerty worked with the Emergency Planning Team to coordinate response and recovery function for each of the emergencies, including defining the responsibilities for internal and external stakeholders, procedures to follow, and tactical-level departmental operational checklists to use.

Hagerty also helped Ravinia’s senior management to establish an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) concept, essentially a communications hub, that would be activated during large concerts entertaining up to 18,000 patrons. Hagerty recommended Ravinia create Watch Officer staff positions to manage the EOC and collect and disseminate situational intelligence before, during, and after large concerts.


Ravinia adopted and implemented Hagerty’s recommendation. After assembling all of this information and reviewing the EOP, Hagerty conducted two Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)-compliant tabletop exercises. The first exercise was for Ravinia staff and the second exercise included external stakeholders such as municipal first responders and METRA bus and rail officials.

The Hagerty team conducted both exercises and wrote up the findings in an After Action Report, which included refinements to the EOP. They presented the final report to the Ravinia executive team; Ravinia formally adopted the plan, and as a result, is much better prepared to respond to potential disasters.