Lumiere is the largest light festival in the UK with the first festival taking place in Durham back in 2009. It was originally planned as a one-off event, but due to its popularity it has been brought back to the North East every other year since then. Each Lumiere festival invites local and international artists to create works around the city producing a spectacular fusion of light blended into a stunning backdrop. The event was last in Durham in 2017 and it is estimated that in excess of 240,000 people visited the event over the course of four evenings.

Crowdguard were requested by Event Traffic Control to support their traffic management operation and provide hostile vehicle mitigation for the city centre to protect the public attending this spectacular event.

Durham is a medieval city with a castle and cathedral perched high above overlooking the main part of the city. The River Wear makes an incised meander which encloses the centre on three sides to form Durham’s peninsula. The festival was contained for the most part within the peninsula and there were five key locations that Crowdguard were requested to provide HVM.


The roads were to be closed from 2pm to midnight each day to allow the public to wander around the city to the various light displays and therefore a solution was required which enabled pedestrians to freely move about during the event whilst enabling the city to continue to function outside of these times and traffic to flow freely.

The ideal solution was ATG Surface Guard, which is pedestrian permeable, but also allows authorised vehicles to enter as appropriate. Our partners Event Traffic Control provided appropriate signage to warn drivers in advance of the HVM and their staff were deployed at the barriers during event time to manage the emergency access points.

Crowdguard supplied and deployed 58 metres of Surface Guard covering five locations over the four day period. This was a complex installation due to the topography in the city centre, which is hilly with winding roads, however through extensive planning and the enduring flexibility of Surface Guard viable solutions were identified and implemented to ensure that the public could be safely entertained by this dazzling event.


Surface Guard looked professional and ensured public safety whilst not causing alarm to the wider public and there was extremely positive feedback from the public attending.

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