Festivals require security in both human and hardware forms, with most successful festival security coming from a combination of the two
Festivals bring together a huge number of people, often to large open areas and
venues, which requires a high level of security and protection from
the organisers

Festivals might be all about fun, but the fact that festival goers are out for a good time is an extra reason why the responsibility for safety and security lies predominantly with the organisers.

Security during festivals plays an important role in ensuring safety of citizens. Since festivals witness congregation of huge crowds, it is important to secure the surrounding areas and perimeter.

So what steps can you take to meet this responsibility and ensure security for the site – and its visitors?

Security operations for venue safety

Festival security is necessary for several distinct reasons:

  • Maintaining the integrity of the site boundary and areas within the site;
  • Maintaining safe movement and flow of traffic (human / vehicular) within the site;
  • Allowing for safe and controlled entrance and exit to the event;
  • Protecting areas of the site which are off-limits.

All of these reasons can require security in both human and hardware forms, with most successful festival security coming from a combination of the two – security personnel and security structures.

Security personnel and guard services

Whether uniformed as security or incorporating additional steward roles, SIA- approved guards present an active deterrent to anti-social or criminal activity and offer a vigilant and fast alert response in the event of incidents or accidents. For festivals, security guards may be usefully deployed for:

  • Searching (body and bag as appropriate) – both genders of security staff are generally required, particularly if body search is necessary;
  • Patrolling and boundary / car park security;
  • Entrance and exit security;
  • Patrolling and in-event security, including bar and stage activity or special equipment security;
  • Communication – professionally experienced in communicating appropriately with the public and working as part of a team across large sites and busy festival events;
  • Maintaining order;
  • Greeting at the beginning, to set the safe, secure tone of the event and guiding off-site at the end of the event, to ensure safe exit and minimal anti-social behaviour nuisance to neighbouring properties.

Security guard responsibilities vary from bag searches to patrolling the venue to acting as a point of communication for festival goers

Security guards act as a visible deterrent against crime and anti-social behaviour
(Photo by Wiltshire Council / CC BY 2.0)

Security structures

From fencing for restriction, to fencing for flow, there is a premier range of fencing suited to festivals and events, including:

Anti-climb temporary fencing and crowd barriers

Temporary event fencing is the key to pedestrian safety as well as security. Key features to look for include high strength fully galvanised steel construction, to ensure for all-weather durability and rapid deployment and installation.

For festivals, anti-climb mesh panel designs offering additional security against unwanted entry is particularly recommended. There’s actually a term for those opportunists who try to gain access without a ticket – “fence jumpers” so fence security does need to be fit for purpose, not just robust, but actually offering a deterrent to such opportunists. The rounded top fence panel design offers additional anti-climb deterrent.

The easy and robust interlocking of temporary fencing systems allows flexibility when setting up but does not compromise security when in situ. These systems are also available with pedestrian and vehicle gates to allow access and additional safety for quick evacuation as required in the event.

Another feature is that anti-climb fencing is available in variable heights, including tall fencing. This key feature is valuable for perimeter security to help prevent unauthorised items being thrown into the festival area – it’s common for those on the outside to throw items to friends already on the inside as a means of by-passing entrance security and searches. Being aware of this when planning your perimeter can make a real difference to your planning and the quality of security your event offers.

Temporary event fencing is the key to pedestrian safety as well as security. Key features to look for include high strength fully galvanised steel construction, to ensure for all-weather durability and rapid deployment and installation
Temporary fences are used to separate the venue into separate areas,
to cordon off restricted areas and to regulate the flow of people throughout
the festival

Pedestrian barriers / crowd barriers are vital within events, to protect individuals as well as event arenas through being deployed to:

  • Separate areas – relative to the type of festival, this can include isolating entertainment, waiting, queuing areas; preventing public from being pushed into / onto the stage; crowd control to facilities such as refreshments and lavatories;
  • Create spaces, as well as creating main entrances to festival or event as part of the perimeter, pedestrian barriers can also be used to designate activity areas inside the festival;
  • Create cordons to prevent pedestrian access to specific areas such as vehicle only / back stage areas.

Pedestrian barriers are available in variable sizes allow for different uses and ease-of-use, both for festivals and other types of outside events.

Ground protection

A key part of preparing for outdoor events such as festivals is to consider preserving the condition of the ground as much as possible. Enduragrid ground protection system is available to help prevent soil erosion and has an anti-slip surface to minimise the effects of mud (and reducing risks of slips and injury by providing a solid surface). Available as a grid system, individual grids easily interlock to create large areas of robust ground cover which can support a 44 tonne vehicle – ideal for festival equipment and for security vehicles.

Whatever your site security needs for the upcoming festival season, one of the benefits of event security products is that they can be hired as well as purchased, suiting the all event needs.

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