The organisers of a UK Multi-Stage Festival had changed their overall security operations for their previous years event. This resulted in a last minute significant resource shortfall, due to providers not being able to fulfil the staff levels. The remaining onsite security providers had to redeploy resources from their designated areas to supplement other areas that had succumbed to visible shortfalls. This resulted in an unsatisfactory security presence, which had resulted in an increase of crime and ongoing crowd management issues during the event and for the egress phase.
The event is held annually over a Bank Holiday weekend and all attendees arrive and depart from site using transport due to the restrictions surrounding persons walking to/from the site.
The relationship between Organisers, the Police and licensing, had soured, in relation to Security and Crowd Management, due to a lack of trust. This extended to the local council authority.
Crowd Safety were recommended to the organiser as a security and crowd management solution, that would serve to deliver an overarching security strategy, source suitable contractors and regain trust/confidence with the Police/Council with specific regard to the security and crowd management arrangements for the event.
Crowd Safety reviewed the plans and made recommendations that considered the calendar position of the event, historical issues, the site layout, roles and responsibilities, the demographics, police/licensing concerns and the need for effective command and control/communication. An event specific threat assessment was produced, working in partnership with the Police.
Licensing were adamant, due to the previous experience of the event, ID scanners had to be resourced and implemented on each entrance lane. This was a major concern for Crowd Safety and disproportionate, as the previous issues could be mitigated against, flow rates would have been affected enormously resulting in a crowd management unacceptable risk and a further risk of public order.
We proposed field study to prove our point and set up several documented ‘live scenario’s” on site, in advance of the event, arbitrated by an independent organisation, utilising event security provider’ staff, volunteers as ticket holders, we provided an analytical report of how the flow rate would be affected if ID scanners were introduced.
Our report demonstrated that ID scanners, in their current format would be wholly ineffective in the outdoor event scenario and would be detrimental to crowd management flows.
The event was on the weekend immediately after the Manchester Arena bombing and as such, the authorities were understandably keen to ensure our security management plan was robust and had sufficient resources to align with the increased threat of terror. The Threat Assessment had already identified this and we already had appropriate resources in place, that simply required a specific briefing relative to the increased threat and our response.
The Crowd Safety management team delivered an operation, under testing conditions and delivered directives to counter the full range of incidents, synonymous with outdoor dance festivals and crowded spaces, in the UK.
The result was deemed a resounding success by the authorities contributing to a successful increased capacity license the following year.