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Security Management for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

With so many potential visitors to a large music festival it is also inevitable that some security issues will be encountered. There is no reason why the actions of a few people should disrupt the success of a festival and overall enjoyment for all event goers. Having a great security process set up is vital to keeping a festival safe and secure for all.


Most music festival organisers will always have robust security processes and procedures in place at an early stage in the planning process. As a festival grows in size each year the security issues presented become more complex and more important to the overall logistics. The normal route for larger festivals is to outsource their security requirements and run this service in conjunction with the festival volunteers and local the local police. The operational and logistic planning will start early in the process to establish requirements. The security plan will identify key duty requirements and the number of volunteers needed along with any timing.

Perimeter and Entrance Security.
These duties are the most easily delegated to volunteers, they only need to know their rota schedule and the route of any perimeter fencing. Equally the resourcing of entrance and exit gates is combined with crowd control and in addition the checking of visitors for any items not permitted on festival grounds. The outsourced professional security personnel should take a supervisory role and be on hand to assist any volunteers that encounter problems.

Equipment Security. 
With so much high value equipment being onsite the security personnel should be assigned to guard all equipment and this starts from delivery dates prior to the festival until collection post event. The guarding of any onsite equipment should apply throughout the event 24 hours a day.

VIP Security. 
Working in conjunction with artist liaison managers the festival organisers can identify any VIP protection duties required. In some cases, VIP artists may have their own bodyguard personnel and they will need to coordinate with festival employed security teams. 

Crowd Control and Visitor Behaviour.
With so many visitors on site in one place health and safety is always a key concern. Can the security team provide assistance with crowd control should an evacuation be required? Do the security teams have a set out procedure for dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour and is there appropriate communication with the police and emergency services.

Training and Experience.
In outsourcing any security services, the festival organiser should carry out due diligence on that contractor's experience and reputation. Does the security company have sufficient numbers of staff, how have they been trained and do they hold health and safety certifications for example? Are they experienced enough to train and manage teams of volunteers and how do they work with festival organisers?

The majority of the larger mega music festival organisers will outsource the bulk of their security requirements removing any potential headaches. For the growing festival that does not have the resources available for outsourcing they will rely on their volunteers perhaps working directly with the police and an in-house security professional.

For any music festival organiser planning to get their event live this summer using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their security requirements. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing. 

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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