A lot of small towns and business associations use summer music festivals or outdoor concerts as a way to bring people together, promote the community, and showcase local talent. However, security is always a concern at any live event. Patron safety is extremely important, especially if a community wants to maintain its reputation for a family-friendly atmosphere. If you're planning a music festival or concert, here are 3 tips to keep in mind about security.
1.) Security theater helps create a feeling of safety.
"Security theater" is the term used to describe measures that make people feel safer, even though they don't actually improve security. It's an acknowledgment that security is partially about feelings. That means that it is important to have a visible security force available near entrances, exits, restrooms, food carts, and souvenir stands. Other small measures can also have a big payoff when it comes to making people feel secure, even if they aren't foolproof:
2.) Real security takes numbers.
You absolutely cannot discount the very real need for plenty of manpower for any music festival or outdoor concert. While there are always variables (such as known problems with local gangs), some experts recommend a specific guard-to-guest ratio:
This doesn't include the additional security needed to cover gates, doors, and specific assets or problem points, like restrooms and vendor areas.
3.) Coordinated planning minimizes confusion.
You probably can't prevent every problem. Someone may get intoxicated and get a little too enthusiastic and act up. There might be a few people who try to "jump the fence" and get in for free. There may even be a few fights. Part of having a security plan in place is aiming for a quick response to foreseeable problems. A clear chain of command and a pre-determined protocol to follow help minimize the impact of problems on the event and uninvolved patrons. Absent a clear command structure, small problems can escalate and get out of control.
You want to coordinate plans early with the police and any private security that is being hired for the event. In addition, you want to make sure that you coordinate with the local ambulance company and hospital, just in case there's an accident or a fight breaks out.
Keep these security tips in mind when planning your summer concert or music festival and you'll be well on your way to a safe and happy event.
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