|CCTV systems were installed to provide comprehensive surveillance coverage for each event location|
The 2005 Carling Weekend, Reading & Leeds Festivals saw the two cities play host to the annual pop & rock gigs, transforming them into the world's leading music venues. The events each attracted 50,000 enthusiastic music fans over their three-day duration and included performances from high-profile bands, Iron Maiden and the Foo Fighters.
With the popularity of the events growing year on year and coupled with ‘A list' performer involvement, the need for effective and co-ordinated security at each venue has become an essential component for the organisers.
Central to the security measures at both festival locations, Network Video Technologies
(NVT) based temporary CCTV systems were installed by Crimesecure of Northhants
. Crimesecure has been designing and installing temporary surveillance systems to cover the Leeds Festival since 2003, the year it was relocated to Bramham Park on the outskirts of Leeds, following trouble with rioting fans during the previous year's event.
The cameras were connected to the respective control rooms using NVT video transmission equipment and UTP cables
Both temporary CCTV systems were installed to provide comprehensive surveillance coverage of both the interiors and exteriors of each event location. At the Leeds Festival, the installation's exterior role was to monitor the site's perimeter fencing, mainly to prevent fans without tickets from gaining entry, whilst its internal role comprised cameras monitoring health & safety issues, and human traffic movement for general security. Typical health & safety issues involved fans becoming ill during performances, or over crowding in certain areas.
During the duration of the Leeds Festival, the CCTV system allowed organisers to spot incidents such as festival goers massing into groups (believed to be the route of crowd trouble during the problematic 2002 event), allowing the onsite stewards to act to disperse them; before the situation had a chance to escalate. Working in teams to secure the event, the stewards managed all incidents, only calling in the police to intervene if a situation was seen to potentially escalate beyond their control. In this scenario, images from the CCTV system could be relayed directly to the West Yorkshire Police at the nearby Wetherby Police station, allowing quick and effective deployment of their resources to tackle any situation swiftly and effectively.
Throughout both the Leeds and Reading events, temporary onsite control rooms consisted of hi-resolution colour monitors, whilst Honeywell controllers managed fifteen dome cameras covering each site in their entirety. The cameras were connected to the respective control rooms using NVT video transmission equipment and unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables.
The use of NVT's constantly evolving surveillance systems has contributed to both the festivals gaining a trouble free reputation
Chris Healey of Crimesecure commented: "The minimal set-up time associated with these types of events means that I need to use equipment I have the utmost confidence in. My experience is that NVT products deliver a consistent level of high-performance straight out of the box."
Healey's use of NVT and UTP cable as an alternative to distributing video over coax brings him a number of other benefits. Firstly, the cost savings over a coax-based system are substantial, with the added advantage of it being quick and easy to install - a vital attribute for a ‘temporary' system. "Camera positions can also be relocated easily if necessary, whilst any damage to the system can be rectified with minimal disruption, unlike with the use of coax where the complete cable would have to be replaced. With NVT/UTP, we just join cables with an in-line connector, with no loss of image quality," added Healey.
The use of these constantly evolving surveillance systems has contributed to both the Leeds and Reading Festivals gaining a ‘trouble free' reputation, in sharp contrast to the problems of the 2002 Leeds Festival, before the systems were introduced.
Reinforcing the NVT contribution to the smooth running of both events, Chris Healey commented: "Using short or long distance cable runs, I can be confident that using NVT video transmitters and receivers will deliver a consistent level of camera image quality, with no problems of picture interference in this hostile transmission environment."