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Tips for Organising Festival Security
Festival season in the UK is about to get underway. There are well over 7,000 major outdoor events in the UK every year, collectively welcoming 85 million visitors. Increase in attacks, including terrorism, means festival security is as important as ever. And with recreational drug use, alcohol consumption and knife-crime also at the forefront of people’s minds, just how, as a festival organiser, can festival security be improved.
#1 Festival security – the right people
Managing crowds, evacuation procedures and generally keeping people safe comes down to a combination of many factors but clearly, getting the right festival security on site for the duration of the event is key.
Every security team members should be trained with a current SIA licence to confirm that they have the skills and the right attitude to keep your festival visitors safe.
#2 Festival security – policies and processes
Planning is key to successful festival security, just like any event. Understanding current event security rules and regulations underpin this, as does meeting these requirements in the shape of security guards and event security measures.
For example, bag searches are now essential. The attacks of events in the UK are random and unsophisticated. A crude, small detonation device in a backpack is ‘enough’ to injure, kill and maim.
The Leeds Festival took action to counter this by limiting bag sizes to smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, as well as improving training about bag searches and how thorough they were.
#3 Festival security – educating your public
Advice on what we should and should not do should an attack hit a major event is becoming more commonplace. Educating your festival attendees is no bad thing. Why not include this information on your website, tickets or wrist bands as well as informative posters around your venue.
#4 Festival security – crowd management
Festival security needs to be in place BEFORE you event stats. In other words, a highly visible security presence during the setup stage sends a message, setting a precedent when it comes to active crowd management. Opt for a festival security contractor who has a reputation for providing staff who are visible and proactive.
#5 Festival security – work with your local authority and other agencies
With your emergency plan in place, share it with the local authority and emergency services.
Too often, we assume that local authorities will want to curtail a festival but in fact, encouraging them boosts the local economy. Like you, they want a safe, secure festival and will often work with festival organisers to improve security and emergency planning.
Think ahead – plan for the worst
We don’t like to think of the worst happening. It’s easy to assume that attacks happen at other festivals, not yours in a leafy suburb or your festival won’t be targeted because it is too small.
Remember, attacks are random and unsophisticated, there is no logic as to why someone would detonate your device and not another festival.
With excellent festival security from a leading event security company, you know that you have the responsive team so no matter what happens – if it happens – there is a pragmatic, correct response.