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Case Studies

Download festival

Showsec did the event security at the 2013 Download festival over the five days of camping at Donington in Leicestershire and three days of bands headlined by Slipknot and Iron Maiden. Some 1,400 were deployed at the festival, from central control rooms, arenas, stages, campsites and perimeters. John Probyn, Live Nations’ chief operating officer and Download festival director says: “I’m really pleased with the introduction of Showsec into the campsites, it has worked really well. Alan Wallace (Showsec’s head of campsites security) has built up a very good relationship with our campsite manager Mick Roberts. Their aim has been to make the campsites safer, alongside a stronger customer focused approach which has improved the atmosphere which in turn has spilled out across the whole festival. Showsec’s management structure has impressed me and it has been drawn from within the company, so we’ve noticed we have the least amount of subcontractors I’ve ever seen on the festival.” Alan Wallace’s campsite team consisted of 600 staff, with 60 supervisors, operating for six 24-hour days, split into a day, and larger night shift looking after 70,000 campers. Elsewhere at Download were a further 800 staff; Steve Reynolds was Showsec’s arena security manager, including the pit teams across five stages who handled as much as 3,000 surfers coming over the Mojo barrier for a single band.

Richard Church became Simon Battersby’s deputy for overall festival security, Joe Milner co-ordinated the enormous logistics operation and Tracey McCarthy was back in position on the main gates managing ingress and egress.

There has been a significant increase in the capacity of the company, which simultaneously this weekend also supplied large teams to multiple events across the UK. Simon Battersby says: “We have really felt the benefits of the staff who have graduated through Showsec’s training programmes. In particular, the strength in depth of management from the people who have completed the Management Development Programme has been outstanding. They help us introduce fresh approaches, applying their knowledge and contributing ideas to improve our service; they’ve performed with confidence and professionalism.

“We have utilised new technology, for example our shared on-line e-platform was adapted to disseminate briefing documents in advance of arriving on site.”

Meanwhile Showsec stewarded a 15,000-strong crowd at the concert by Muse for the premiere of World War Z at Horse Guards Parade in central London on June 2.

Headed by Southern Regional Manager Steve Reynolds, Senior Operations Executive Dayo Adelugba and Operations Executive Louise Stockden, Showsec worked with Graham Pullen Director of Live Nation’s Special Projects team to devise a detailed security strategy to ensure the safety and enjoyment of those there.

Steve Reynolds said: “Due to the sensitive nature of Horse Guards Parade, extensive stakeholder liaison was needed to ensure the event ran smoothly. Louise and Dayo headed up a detailed planning process, meeting with the Military, Downing Street, Royal Parks, Metropolitan Police, Westminster Council and Live Nation to implement an extensive security plan.”

To assure safe access and egress two main entrance points were created either side of the parade; ensuring an even crowd split either side of the island stage. A third entrance for red carpet guests was situated at the front of Horse Guards Parade, staffed by Showsec’s experienced VIP team.

The free event featured three phases of ticketing including seated and standing; with the first 500 allowed to enter the golden circle surrounding the ‘Z’ shape stage, giving the lucky fans close-up views of the action. The band – which has 14 minutes of its music sampled in the World War Z film – performed 40 minutes of hits from their 2nd Law album.

Earlier in the day Horse Guards parade had been used to host the culmination of the Help For Heroes charity bike ride, where hundreds of riders travelled 364 miles from Paris to London.

Steve added: “Our extensive experience working across events of all genres enabled a seamless transition as we used the same staff to work the Help for Heroes event, ensuring we could deliver a quick turnaround and strategy ahead of the evening gig.”

And Showsec did city centre security on Armed Forces Day run smoothly in Nottingham in June 2013, pictured.

As host of the fifth Armed Forces Day national event, the city of Nottingham was visited by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Free public events ran across the city.

Over 200 Showsec staff were on site during the day to ensure members of the public were allowed to pass around the city safely, with the first teams arriving at 4am to begin implementing several road closures and set up diversions to pedestrianise the area.

Armed Forces personnel paraded through the city centre via Old Market Square, where Stuart Kennerley supervised 110 Showsec staff segregated crowds either side of the main road for the parade. Members of the pubic were then directed towards the Victoria Embankment, where a further 70 Showsec staff were deployed to maintain crowd security, managed by Darren Evans. Spectators gathered on the embankment for a military display and a Red Arrows fly-past, as celebrations continued with a programme of entertainment during the evening.

Showsec’s project manager Rachael Evans oversaw all of the sites throughout the day. She said: “This was a free public event that attracted thousands of spectators to many different types of activities at various sites across the city. Effective communication across all teams was essential to ensure members of the public were directed around the city safely.

“Given the additional significance of having service personnel and royals on site, we worked closely with Nottingham City Council during detailed planning meetings in the weeks leading up to the event, in order to ensure the event would run as smoothly as possible and accommodate numerous late scheduling changes in line with the forces requirements. Security was also a prime consideration and area manager Joe Milner was stationed in the sliver control room to be our conduit for communication with the other security agencies.”


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