Tag Archives: Isle of Wight

“Best-ever” Bestival ensures summer event season ends on high note for Showsec

The ‘Best-Ever’ Bestival ensured that another busy summer programme of securing and managing crowds at major festivals ended on a high note for Showsec as the company played its part in the success of the ‘Summer of Love’.

Organisers were quick to acclaim the fact that Bestival scaled new heights this year following a spectacular event which once again featured a successful bid to break a world record.

Crowd management and event security specialist Showsec helped to enhance the reputation of what has now become the traditional grand finale to the festival season on the Isle of Wight as the impact of the company’s bespoke crime reduction measures contributed to the overall success of the occasion.

This year’s event, which was themed the ‘Summer of Love’, saw Duran Duran, The Chemical Brothers and Missy Elliott headline the Main Stage on each of the festival’s three show days.

In a continuation of a long association with the Bestival team, Showsec’s summer programme drew to a close in the picturesque surroundings of Robin Hill Country Park, but it’s a link which also includes sister event Camp Bestival and a new addition this year, namely Common People.

Continually looking to raise the bar

“We’re continually exploring ways to raise the bar higher by delivering very special festival experiences for the enjoyment of all concerned,” commented Dave Grindle, the festival manager from Loudsound Productions. “To have the confidence to be that bold and ambitious with your plans, you need to have strong backing from the teams who provide essential parts of the whole operation. In that sense, we’ve developed a long-standing working relationship with Showsec and it’s very important to us to have the support of such a strong team of managers and supervisors.”

Grindle added: “That was most evident again this year and certainly helped us to fulfil our aim of making this Bestival the very best one we’ve run in its twelve-year history.”

A prominent feature of Showsec’s operation was the strong presence of senior management heading up the team throughout the event. While director Mark Logan acted as head of security, three of the company’s regional managers – namely Steve Reynolds, Scott Anderson and Richard Church – took on key responsibilities. Further support was provided by five area managers working across the whole operation.

As well as directing its own operations, Showsec also played an important part in the co-ordination of an army of Oxfam volunteers providing stewarding support.

“The benchmark is set very high by Bestival in terms of customer experience, so it’s important we match that commitment with our level of service,” commented Steve Reynolds, who was the security operations manager within that team for this particular occasion. “It helps that we have grown up with the event due to our long association with both Bestival and Loudsound Productions. We’re familiar with the venue.”

Reynolds went on to state: “Our management team was as strong as it has ever been, with Scott Anderson being an important addition in his capacity as security co-ordinator. This level of managerial expertise and experience proves to be highly significant in terms of our effective liaison with the other agencies fulfilling key roles.”

Working in parallel with Hampshire Constabulary

Nowhere was that more effective, in fact, than when it came to working closely with officers from the Hampshire Constabulary on crime reduction measures designed to help make Bestival 2015 a safe and secure environment.

Hampshire Constabulary reported a 26% drop in the number of reported criminal incidents for this year’s event, while enhanced searches involving Showsec staff, detection dogs and police advisors ensured that substantial quantities of drugs were confiscated at the entrances.

“The reduction in crime is a satisfying reflection of the emphasis which we place on this element of our operation and, indeed, the standardised training many staff have completed to enhance their skills and knowledge in that respect,” added Reynolds. “Having so many individuals within our operation who are very familiar with this event, and indeed enjoy being a part of what is the final stage of a long festival season, ensured that many aspects of our operation ran in a similarly effective way to previous years. There were some differences, most notably the fact that we had a higher number of early arrivals this year into the camp sites ahead of the event.”

Reynolds went on to state: “We also had a camera crew on site for much of the time and this took some planning to ensure they were able to film without too much disruption.”

Among the many other attractions, the world’s largest disco ball was back after successfully achieving an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014, while the unofficial record bid on this occasion saw 446 people become the largest number of buskers to sing a song in one place.

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Clay by SALTO access control solution on show at MLA Expo in October

SALTO Systems, together with partner EMS Distribution, will be presenting Clay by SALTO on Stand 217 at this year’s MLA Expo, which runs at the Telford International Centre from 2-4 October.

In a world where everything is becoming smarter, security and risk management professionals are looking for new solutions that make sense in an increasingly digital-focused environment. They want to substitute mechanical locks with secure electronic products, in turn creating keyless buildings that are smart to own, operate and manage.

Clay by SALTO is the ideal solution for achieving this. It’s a secure, cloud-based wireless locking solution that provides security professionals with a smart access control system that’s easy and quick to install, commission and manage.

Existing mechanical locks would be replaced with Clay smart locks. They fit any type of door. It’s then a case of installing Clay IQ that serves as the hub between the wireless lock and the cloud. This is simple to set up. There’s no configuration needed. It’s truly a plug-and-play solution.

The Clay by SALTO access control solution

The Clay by SALTO access control solution

The software is then set up for end users to control the access rights around ‘Whom?’, ‘When?’ and ‘Where?’

There’s no requirement for installation on a server. End users simply manage and control their Clay access control system by downloading the my-Clay app. This works with any Internet-connected device, be it a PC, tablet or smart phone. The result is immediate access control from everywhere, with alarms and notifications as they happen.

Clay by SALTO provides end users with excellent functionality and performance. It offers a flexible management system that requires no software installation nor the cost of a fully-wired electronic product.

Advanced SALTO access set-up secures No Man’s Fort 

A mile offshore from the Isle of Wight you can find one of Britain’s most unique Victorian structures. Built between 1867 and 1880, No Man’s Fort has recently been re-launched as a luxury hotel and party venue by AmaZing Venues, part of the Clarenco Group. 

Originally designed to house 80 soldiers defending the country from possible invasion, No Man’s Fort has been turned it into a unique ‘get-away’ destination playing host to 22 luxury bedrooms, a dining room that can seat 200 people, games rooms, a laser battle arena, an outdoor terrace with a sun deck, a hot tub, a sauna and, of course, that much-needed parking space for your helicopter!

No Man's Fort: now a luxury hotel development

No Man’s Fort: now a luxury hotel development

SALTO Systems’ partner Lock-Tech Systems was employed to design and install the hotel’s access control system.

The client was particularly concerned about providing a feature-rich technical solution in keeping with the aesthetics of the doors inside No Man’s Fort. To meet this specification, Lock-Tech selected SALTO’s Aelement electronic locking system, which combines all the features of SALTO’s award-winning access control solution with the ability to incorporate the uniqueness of the client’s existing door handles.

Aelement has been developed with the needs of hotels in mind and features a range of hospitality-specific applications, including the ability to control the security of the entire hotel from a single location. This encompasses granting access privileges to individual guest rooms and gathering audit trail data from every door in real-time – all without leaving the front desk.

Other benefits for the hotel include instant room move and instant extended stay abilities, as well as lost card cancellation, intrusion alarm, door ajar alarm, remote opening, real-time audit trails, passage mode activation for meeting rooms and automated low battery reporting.

This technology mix affords the hotel’s management the ability to continuously upgrade security without having to upgrade the locks, saving on operating costs while providing what’s most needed – total control.

“This project stood out for me because of the logistics involved in just getting to the site,” urged Lock-Tech’s systems manager Anthony Harvey. “A helicopter may have come in handy at times to be honest! Despite the logistical challenges, our team pulled together and delivered a system that exceeds the customer’s expectations. I’m sure it will continue to do so for many years to come.”

Phil Harvey, managing director at Lock-Tech, added: “This project demonstrates Lock-Tech’s ability to meet customer requirements no matter how difficult or impossible the task may seem. We look forward to continuing to work with AmaZing Venues on any of the company’s exciting future developments.”

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Record-breaking Bestival serves as fitting finale to busy summer for Showsec

Showsec rounded off another hectic summer programme of providing first class security solutions at outdoor festivals with a traditional finale on the Isle of Wight, home of the popular Bestival event.

Once again, the crowd management and event security specialist played a key role in the continuing success story of Bestival, which can now claim to have featured the world’s largest disco ball as one of many highlights realised during this year’s event.

The latest edition of Bestival saw Leicester-based Showsec increase its service delivery on site. In addition to a strong and experienced management team heading up a workforce of 850 staff, Showsec also assumed responsibility for overseeing an army of 1,500 Oxfam volunteers who provided equally vital stewarding services.

The rapid growth of Bestival over the years presents a huge challenge in itself, mainly owing to the fact that the arena and numerous camp sites now cover vast areas of the picturesque Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight.

Bestival 2014 proved to be a great event for organiser Loudsound Productions and security specialist Showsec

Bestival 2014 proved to be a great event for organiser Loudsound Productions and security specialist Showsec

“To cover such a large area requires meticulous planning and attention to detail in executing the whole security operation,” explained Steve Reynolds, Showsec’s regional manager (South) who served as the festival’s security manager. “In many respects, though, we’ve grown up with Bestival. Our eleven-year association with the main event and its sister, Camp Bestival, plus our familiarity with the venue absolutely helps. Indeed, many of our members of staff look forward to working at the event. In turn, the organiser sees the benefit of having so many friendly security faces on site, particularly when they’re looking for a high level of customer service from us.”

Reynolds added: “This year, it was apparent there was a much younger audience in attendance so it was a new experience for many. On that basis, it was important for our staff members to be aware of this when it came to helping to create a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.”

Working in tandem with the local police service

As was the case for so many other festivals this summer, Showsec placed great emphasis on its work with the local police service when focusing on crime reduction measures.

“We enjoy a good working relationship with Hampshire Police which undoubtedly had a positive impact upon the level of crime,” commented Reynolds. “We took on the role of drugs searching from the police, just as we have done at other festivals.”

Bestival’s organiser Loudsound Productions asserts that Showsec’s strong management team affords the company peace of mind when delivering such a momentous event.

As head of security for the festival, Showsec director Mark Logan oversaw the whole operation at Robin Hill Country Park. One of his responsibilities was the co-ordination of the Oxfam operation. Logan was supported by Richard Church, Showsec’s regional manager for the Midlands.

Showsec placed great emphasis on working with Hampshire Police to orchestrate crime reduction measures on site

Showsec placed great emphasis on working with Hampshire Police to orchestrate crime reduction measures on site

“Showsec’s presence offers reassurances that we can deliver a safe and secure event where everyone can enjoy themselves,” said Dave Grindle, festival manager at Loudsound Productions. “We have a long-standing working relationship with Showsec. It’s very important to us to have the support of such a strong team of managers and supervisors. It’s also good to see the same faces back each year. That continuity certainly helps us as we strive to offer an even better festival experience for our customers. Pleasingly, that’s something we feel we’ve accomplished once again this time around.”

Bestival 2014 ended in spectacular fashion as the record-breaking, 10.3-metre wide disco ball was hoisted by crane above Magic Meadow before disco kings Chic (featuring celebrated songwriter and guitarist Nile Rodgers) closed four days of the very best musical entertainment with a brilliant set featuring all of their 70s and 80s classics.

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