Showsec has been acclaimed for new crowd management measures which helped to make the Parklife 2015 Festival even bigger and better for attending fans. Thousands flocked to Manchester’s Heaton Park for the music extravaganza which opened with a concert from The Courteeners followed by a spectacular line-up of performers across the weekend.
The crowd management and event security specialist worked with the event organisers and other agencies to provide the best-possible experience for fans who wanted to see the likes of Rudimental, Disclosure, Fatboy Slim and Mark Ronson. Much of that planning was focused on ingress and egress arrangements for the 70,000 revellers who came and went on each of the days of this increasingly popular event.
Jon Drape, event director for Parklife, said: “Mark Logan and the whole Showsec team are an integral part of the Parklife team. They deserve full credit for the success of this year’s festival. The attention to detail and extensive experience shown in the planning phase resulted in a superb operation on the ground.”
Drape added: “We’re very pleased with how everything developed, particularly given the scale of the festival. I think it shows the benefit of all agencies working together.”
Planning to minimise disruption
The sheer scale of the attendance and the fact that there’s no camping for the visiting public makes Parklife one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Europe. On that basis, there’s necessarily a considerable amount of emphasis placed on ingress and egress to minimise disruption when so many people arrive and then leave in a short space of time.
In his capacity as security director for the event, Showsec’s Mark Logan headed up the planning and then the implementation of the crowd management strategy. One feature was an innovative new queueing system.
“We pride ourselves on being innovative with our delivery systems,” said Logan. “Parklife is a good example of how our planning and preparation can deliver an even higher standard of service for clients and the public. There was a strong focus on the ingress and egress operations in the planning phase for Parklife, and we’re pleased with the impact of the new systems in making passage in and out of the site considerably easier for customers.”
Logan continued: “With the movement of such a high volume of people, particularly at the end of each day, we introduced an additional exit gate and assigned more resources to our crowd management support teams to help with this process. We also designed a holding pen system which cuts down on the length of queues and enables us to control the release of people in stages.”
He added: “Having that measure of control meant we could manage people movement more effectively at a critical time, thus reducing both the amount of congestion in certain areas and the likelihood of a rush developing.”
Showsec deployed more than 2,000 staff across the three days of the event. Alan Wallace (regional manager, North), Mark Wilcock (area manager, Greater Manchester) and Axel Fernandes (operations executive) were key members of the project management team.
‘Royal’ appointment for Showsec in Nottingham
In addition, Showsec has secured a new agreement to extend a long-standing association with Nottingham’s Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall at what is undoubtedly a time of huge historical significance.
Showsec will continue to provide its services for two of the United Kingdom’s most successful touring venues for three more years. That means the company will play an important role later on this year in the 150th Anniversary celebrations of the Theatre Royal which first opened its doors back in Queen Victoria’s reign.
While the Theatre Royal has long been established as an iconic venue in the entertainment world, the Royal Concert Hall also attracts many high-profile events and artists.
“We have been working with the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall for many years now, so we’re delighted to be presented with this fantastic opportunity to extend that association,” commented Joe Milner, Showsec’s area manager in the East Midlands.
“What makes it particularly special is that we will now be playing a part in celebrations of this landmark year for the Theatre Royal which are planned for September. We pride ourselves in offering a high level of customer service to enhance the experience for audiences visiting each of the venues, and this has helped them both to progress to a point where they are very busy in terms of events taking place throughout the year.”
Milner added: “Attracting more than half a million visitors each year, the diverse programme of events for both venues means they are as popular now as they have ever been. That puts them right up there among the leading entertainment venues of their kind in the East Midlands region, if not the whole of the UK.”
Smarter image for stewarding and event staff
Last year, the refurbished Royal Concert Hall re-opened on the same night that Showsec staff wore their new three-piece suits for the first time. The smarter, more professional image has certainly been well-received and that has been a contributory factor in the cementing of this long-term association.
Kate Collins, operations director at the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, said: “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Showsec and we look forward to that continuing. A major influence upon the success which we have achieved in recent years has been the strong focus on providing the best possible customer experience and undoubtedly a key element of that is having the right quality of Front of House staff to deliver that service.”
Collins concluded: “It’s important to have the same familiar faces working with us on a regular basis and that makes them feel a part of our team. Showsec understands our requirements. The staff are always helpful and responsive to feedback and they go the extra mile where and when required.”