With summer fast approaching, so too is the summer festival season. Whether a balloon festival in Bristol, the music festival in Glastonbury Somerset, or one of the many street events going on in London and other large cities. They all have one thing in common, crowds. Effective crowd control is a must to ensure the event goes off without incident or injury.
Assessing the Venue:
Weeks before the event the venue needs to be assessed, especially if it’s a venue new to expected large crowds. Will vehicles be using the same entrances as pedestrians, if so can that be changed? Ensuring food, souvenir, and other stalls are not placed in areas of people movement in and out, causing crowd congestion.
Making sure approaches to and from the venue are clear. Having separate entrances and exits, so people aren’t pushing in opposite directions to get in and out. Depending on expected numbers are there adequate ticket booths and entrance ways. Do prepaid spectators have a separate entrance to those paying on the day, minimising bottlenecks and crowd build-up.
Working with Event Organisers and the Authorities:
Setting up the venue, placing of barriers, positioning of stages and stalls usually involves the organisers, local police, health and safety authorities, and event security. The police will want to ensure no public roads are blocked by parked vehicles or crowds waiting to be admitted on site.
Health and safety officials will want to ensure there are no fire risks. Stalls and stages all have the requisite number of fire extinguishers, and first aid posts are adequate and well signed. Electrical supplies and cables are safe, and don’t trail across the venue floor. And there are sufficient, properly signed exits, should they be required in an emergency.
Policing the Event:
If the event is a music festival, the crowds will want to gather around the stage. Security personnel, have the hardest part of the operation, policing the event. Adequate officers need to be on duty, and radio contact between officers is required should extra staff be needed in different areas. After the event, the officers will be responsible for ensuring spectators can safely leave the venue through designated exits. Arriving home having enjoyed a pleasant, trouble-free, well policed festival, which they’ll be happy to visit again next year.