Our Guide to Festival Security
Our Guide to Festival Security
Over the years festivals have increased in popularity! For example, when Glastonbury first opened in 1970 just 1,500 people attended. At the last in-person Glastonbury festival in 2019 over 200,000 people attended.
Festival goers spend on average £113 a day enjoying rides, browsing stalls and buying food. With many festivals lasting two or three days, and 62% of people attending more than one festival a year, that quickly adds up! It’s important to keep your belongings safe if you’re spending that much to have a fun weekend.
Why is Security Important in Events?
There were nearly 2,000 arrests between five of the biggest UK festivals over a three-year period between 2016-2019. In 2015, there was a total £270,000 reported stolen from festival goers. With an average unattended tent containing valuables such as mobile phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, designer clothing and shoes which total an average of £928, it shows that people may be too trusting when it comes to their security at their favourite festival.
Security is important at events not only to protect yourself but also your belongings and making sure everyone stays safe. Being prepared can help you stay safe, bringing security items like padlocks to secure your bags and marking your items with a permanent marker to make it easier to find them again. You can protect yourself by staying close with friends, creating a meeting point in case you get lost and finding stewards or security for help if you feel in danger.
Having hired security at events mean that the festival goers will be kept safe. Unwanted people will not be able to enter and ruin the event, dangerous items or weapons will be stopped or not able to come into the festival and if the crowds begin to get rowdy, they can remove anyone if necessary and ensure the festival continues to be a safe place to stay.
Protect Your Valuables
Only Bring the Essentials
When going to a festival, less is usually better! By only taking the essentials with you; you are less likely you are to be a victim of theft. This includes not bringing large amounts of money, expensive jewellery or unnecessary gadgets.
If you do bring any valuables don’t leave them in your tent or car – put them in the on-site lockers. Also remember that if you used a sat nav, to remove any suction marks on the windscreen.
Watch Your Pockets
Protecting your pockets and keeping your valuables safe on your person is so important at a festival. People tend to be easier targets at festivals as they are there for a good time and are more likely to be distracted.
One good way to hide the items in your clothes it to have clothes with secrets pockets that you can put your valuables inside.
If you do decide to bring any expensive items register them for free or mark them with your details with a UV pen, then if it is stolen and recovered it can be returned. You can visit Immobilise to register your property.
Insurance provider Aviva advise getting personal belongings cover to protect your mobile phone, laptop, jewellery, camera equipment when you are away from home.
It may also be useful to invest in a waterproof phone cover, to protect your phone if it rains or if you drop it in the mud!
Keeping Your Tent Safe
Protect Your Tent
When putting your tent up don’t put a lock on it, as that will make it seem like there is something to steal. By keeping nothing valuable in your tent, it reduces the risk of theft as there’ll be nothing worthwhile to take. If you do have something that you want to keep safe, you can put locks on your bags inside your tent to protect them further.
We also recommend bringing a tent with a porch as a separate compartment to where you’re sleeping and your gear is. It will make it harder for someone to take something and may deter them if they see a second zip they need to go through.
Be Prepared for Leaks
Make sure to bring bin bags, as these can be great for protecting your items from getting soaked if your tent leaks. They can also be used for carrying your items and putting rubbish in rather than leaving it on the floor.
Make sure to keep your tent secure whilst you’re away, especially if it gets damaged. Something that you should consider bringing is a tent repair kit, as you can use this whether someone has caused damage to your tent or its just broken with use. Make sure to keep your tent secure whilst you’re away, especially if it gets damaged.
Getting a good location when pitching your tent is essential. Finding a spot that’s within the allocated areas, and that’s not too far from any main lighting and toilets is a good place. This is because with a lighter area and people going to the toilets, this area will be busier and can help to reduce the likelihood of theft.
You may also want to try a tent finder app to help you find your tent when you’re camping and can’t remember which pitch it was in! Some apps also offer weather updates for the area the festival is in and to be able to share your location with friends.
Fire safety is crucial when camping in a tent. Avoid using candles, lighters, cooking stoves or BBQs or smoking in your tent, as all these things could end up with your tent in flames or with carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s also important to know how to escape by cutting your way out if a fire happens whilst your inside.
Keep Yourself Safe
Know What Your Bringing
When you come to a festival you usually only have what you’ve brought along and what you can get onsite. Make sure to keep your ticket safe beforehand and during the event, loosing your ticket whilst you’re having a good time would definitely ruin the weekend!
It’s also important to bring both card and cash to the festival, but keep them safe in different bags or pockets, in case someone steals one you still have the other!
Know Your limits
You don’t need to stay completely sober, but you also shouldn’t be absolutely smashed when at a festival. Being intoxicated can be dangerous at festivals, as people may use this to take advantage of you. It’s best to avoid this situation, so get buzzed but not wrecked.
Stay In Contact
Keeping your phone switched on and charged is necessary, so you are always a call away from a friend for help. Make sure you keep it on loud so if your friends need you, you can hear them calling.
If you have agreed to split up, arrange to have regular group meet ups, to check in and make sure everyone is safe. Alternatively stay close to the friends or family you have gone to the festival with so you can keep each other safe.
Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Keep an eye out of aggressive behaviour from other and avoid these individuals, and make sure to remove yourself from aggressive situations as well. Try to avoid getting into fights or altercations!
Another helpful tip is to have a personal alarm so if you find yourself in a dangerous situation you can set your alarm off to deter anyone from you and hopefully prevent them from taking anything or doing any harm.
Use the Festival for Help
Listen To Festival Guidelines
Listen to the communication that the festival tells you, they should clearly communicate to you the safety measures they have in place. If you follow their guidelines, you’ll be much safer and reduce the likelihood of being a victim of a crime.
Use A locker
Using a locker that the festival provides protects your personal belongings from theft. These can usually be booked in advance and are open 24 hours a day, so you can access them anytime at the festival!
Report Stolen Valuables Straight Away
It’s key to identify and be aware of the campsite manager and official workers onsite, to be able to ask for help if required. Find and have an emergency phone number for them in case you or your friends need them at any time.
If you are a victim of a crime, call the onsite security immediately to report the incident and get help with the situation. They will advise you on how to proceed to keep yourself safe for the rest of the festival.
Be Aware of Rowdy Crowds
Big Festivals – Big Crowds!
It can be fun to be back with the big crowds and have the loud music beating through your body, but it’s a good idea to be aware of the other people in the crowd to stay safe.
When you’re in a big crowd, follow the waves of the crowd to avoid getting hurt. Often big crowds move in ‘surges’ and push from one direction to the other, like waves from the sea. We suggest not pushing back against the pushing, as this could cause more chaos and become dangerous for yourself and the people around you.
When you are in a big crowd, it’s a good idea to be aware of the exits or to think about how to get out as safely as possible. Don’t start panicking, but if you need to leave the crowd follow the best route out calmy.
If someone has fallen over, be careful not to create more danger by trying to help them. Try to separate the crowd safely to help them up without loosing your own balance. When one person falls over in a crowd it can soon turn into a pile up if others aren’t careful.
When moving around in big crowded spaces, try to be aware of wheelchair uses and those with mobility issues and parents with young kids to keep them safe to avoid any unnecessary danger.
Check in with others
It‘s a good idea to check in with your friends when you’re navigating a large crowd because although you may be fine, your friend may be struggling. Offer support and stay close with them, or if its to much for them or for you, move out of the crowd to the edges.
Even though the UK Government has lifted all restrictions and nobody needs to socially distance any more, some people still feel uncomfortable being close with others, so it’s best to let others choose how close they want to be and what social distancing they want to continue following.
Frequently Asked Questions For Festival Security
Can security guards check your bag?
Legally security guards need to have consent before checking through your bag. This is not applicable if the bag is left unattended or the owner is unconscious. However, they are allowed to deny entry into the premises or festival if you refuse to give them consent to check your bag.
Security guards tend to check bags to restrict prohibited items from entering the space and to keep the other festival goers safe from potentially dangerous weapons or items.
What is the Different Security for An Event?
There are several different kinds of security that a festival organiser may hire to protect the people at their event. These include general guards, bodyguards, gatekeepers, crowd control, mobile control and armed guards.
All of these do different jobs, but their main aim is to keep everyone safe and protect whilst at the festival to ensure everyone has a good time.