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Guide to Festival Security
21 Apr 2023

As the summer season approaches, festivals are beginning to emerge. Whether you are attending a festival, or planning to organise one yourself, the consideration of festival security is vital. Yet, what exactly is festival security?

Festival security is the security provided at a festival. This includes security guards, security dogs and security cameras.

Being extremely crowded places, festivals tend to have unpredictable events occurring throughout the event which is why security services are so important for the safety of all attendees and staff. Festival security services go much further than offering a physical presence of security guards, it’s all about a variety of factors that need to be carefully considered as part of taking your guests and visitors’ safety seriously.

This article explores event security services, the use of security at festivals and what security guards can do.

What is the role of security at a festival?

Security guards working at festivals will have a range of duties, including, but not limited to:

  • Conducting bag searches upon entry to the festival
  • Ensuring the safety of all guests and festival staff
  • Crowd control management
  • Helping attendees with enquiries or issues
  • Patrolling around the event
  • Looking out for anti-social or dangerous behaviour and dealing with it appropriately

Can a festival run without security?

Without festival security, your attendees and staff members would be at risk of crime, making it an unsafe event, which is why security is vital for running a safe and secure festival.

Security guards have the capacity to prevent crime, therefore protecting everyone attending the event.

Security guards are allowed to use a reasonable degree of force to detain or eject you from a festival if necessary.

How many security guards are needed for a festival?

Dependent on the number of attendants of the festival, the number of security guards needed will vary.

Glastonbury is known as the largest outdoor music festival in the UK, hosting 210,000 attendees. In 2019, Police records indicated that there were 214 crimes recorded at the festival and 25 arrests were made. Without the help of security, this event could have been very unsafe.

When planning for festival security, it is essential that you consider the ratio of guards to guests.

A festival of up to 250 people may only need a team of 12 security guards, whilst festivals over 1000 guests will require a larger security team.

The safest way to work out how many guards you will need for your festival is to get in touch with a festival security company for advice.

Regardless of the size of your festival, it is essential to have a reliable security team for the safety of everyone attending.

What are the different types of security needed?

There is a range of security guards that a festival organiser might need to hire to help protect attendees. Some of these may be general guards, bodyguards, gatekeepers, crowd control, mobile control and armed guards.

Event Security Bodyguards are an essential part of any security service, acting as the backbone across your event space and event grounds. Bodyguards can come in various forms as part of a security package for events such as festivals, sporting events and public gatherings.

Security patrolling is perhaps the most essential of all security services for events, as they remain a consistent presence at all times.

Event security guards go much further than being simply a physical presence, it’s all about a variety of factors that need to be carefully considered as part of taking your guests and visitors’ safety seriously.

All of these offer a different purpose, but the goal is to keep all attendees safe whilst still ensuring attendees can enjoy themselves.

Surveillance is another form of security needed for festivals. Security teams should monitor CCTV from control rooms and dispatch guards to necessary locations.

How can security assist with festival queues?

Festival security services should offer security barriers throughout the festival queuing area that can aid with queues. These barriers guide guests in the right direction to go, creating a steady and safer flow of traffic.

On top of this, by placing security guards close to the queuing area they can answer guest queries, call out anti-social behaviour and offer assistance with directions.

Can security guards at festivals conduct searches?

Security guards have the right to search attendees whilst they are entering a festival. These searches tend to look for prohibited items such as drugs and alcohol and involve the security guard searching through your bag or pockets. Security guards are allowed to confiscate any illegal items they find.

However, a security guard can only search you if you consent. If you don’t consent, then they have the right to refuse your entry to the festival,

Security dogs, also known as sniffer dogs, are sometimes used upon entry to try to seek out these prohibited items.

Security guards don’t have the right to check a person’s underwear for hidden items as this can be considered assault.

To ensure that only ticket holders manage to access the premises, ticket checking is usually carried out manually by security guards,  as well as through barcode scanning.

How much does festival security cost?

There is no black-and-white answer to how much it will cost to hire security guards and pay for other security factors for your festival. This is because the factors are dependent on the size of your festival, the location of your festival and the length of your festival.

For advice on what the cost of security will likely be for your festival, get in touch with a festival security company for a quote. Try to provide us with as much information as possible so that w can tailor our service to your needs. To find out more about how we can keep you safe at your next festival, get in touch with us today. In need of the best event security services available? Contact our team at All Time Security today to book a risk assessment and get a quote from our experts.

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