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Everything You Need to Know About Festival Security

Every year, over 7,000 major outdoor events are held in the UK, with 27.7 billion people attending festivals. However, it is no secret that there has been a significant rise in the number of attacks over recent years, and it is more important than ever before to put robust security measures in place to ensure the safety of all attendees, workers and acts.

Here, First Fence discuss what security measures you can take at your event, to help minimise any risks.

Metal Detectors & Bag Searches

Following a rise in event security threats over the years, festivals have now upped their security to significantly reduce the terrorist threats that are ever-looming.

Festival workers have been given additional training to carry out thorough and comprehensive bag searches, whilst still ensuring that festival goers aren’t held up too much. Organisers at Leeds Festival now only allow people to take bags into the arena that are smaller than an A4 sheet of paper.

It is recommended that all festival goers minimise their luggage so as not to slow queues down; or take multiple trips through the barriers, as opposed to carrying all bags through in one go.

With one of the largest festivals in the world, Coachella, taking place in April in California, workers for the event have received training to specifically deal with mass shootings at a large event; in addition to using the standard metal detectors.

Whilst it’s incredibly sad that we should even have to consider these eventualities, it’s important that everyone stays safe. By planning for all possible scenarios, it means that everyone can enjoy the festival while still feeling safe.

Educate the Public

Festival organisers have been encouraged to advise members of the public to educate themselves on what they should do, should they find themselves in the horrific situation of a terrorist attack.

The government has produced a handy leaflet, detailing what to do if people should find themselves in the midst of a weapons attack, and have also created a stay safe video.

This year, to help keep your security tight at your upcoming festival, be sure to educate attendees on how they can stay safe should such an incident occur. Hopefully it will never come to that, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Crowd Control

Security measures need to be put in place before your event even starts: make sure you get an idea of the number of people attending, and carry out a risk assessment. Ensure that there are plenty of entrances and exits, and create a clear concourse for people to walk through. It is also important to consider any temporary structures that have the potential to collapse, and the eventuality that people may try climbing on structures and equipment when the event is taking place.

Having barriers in place can be beneficial for crowds and can certainly increase safety, especially when you consider the increase in the number of vehicles being driven into large crowds (something which the Edinburgh Fringe decided to run with last year). However, the other thing to consider when thinking about barriers and fences, is the possibility (however slight), that a crowd surge could result in people being crushed.

In order to keep festival goers secure, ensure all of your workers are absolutely clear on their roles and responsibilities. You can’t go wrong with hiring several stewards, as they can show people around, and monitor crowds for any suspicious behaviour.

Work with Local Authorities

Doing risk assessments and having backup plans for all eventualities is a great way to up security at your festival, but you can help to make attendees even safer by working with local authorities, emergency services and the police.

It is a good idea to plan out the exact protocol that should be followed in the event of an emergency. Establish who are the people that should be contacted in what scenario and what steps your staff members should take in the event that one of these emergencies occurs.

Once you’ve developed an emergency plan, share it with them, and they can advise you on anything you may have missed, or let you know if there’s a better, more effective way of doing something.

When you are creating the all-important plan for your event, it is important you don’t forget to include your considerations on how festival goers can escape any immediate danger, and how you’ll deal with any casualties.

Ultimately, festivals are a place to have fun, enjoy the many live acts and spend time with friends; and whilst chance of an attack is unlikely, it’s something that you need to consider, should the unthinkable happen. By planning ahead with these four tips, you can help to ensure your festival runs smoothly, whilst knowing that everyone is as safe as they can possibly be.

For further information please visit https://firstfence.co.uk.


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