From Beyoncé to the Boss: Crowdguard plans, provides and protects music events with HVM

Music events often involve protecting a huge crowd, along the complex event security and logistical challenges of people arriving gradually over an extended period of time, then leaving en masse at the end of the evening.

At Crowdguard, we have extensive experience of threat, vulnerability and risk assessment, appropriate and proportionate HVM and perimeter protection specification, and timely deployment and de-rigging of equipment at music events.

Recently we have been involved in securing both stadium and outdoor gigs for some of the biggest names in music, including Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Harry Styles and the Arctic Monkeys, working closely with the venues, the Police and traffic management partners to deploy HVM in the right places at the right time, aligned to their identified risk and operational requirements.

The Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen and Harry Styles events all took place at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh, where we have worked with Scottish Rugby Union and Edinburgh City Council before to deliver Zone Ex security for sports fixtures. The security challenges for music events are different, but one of the benefits of working across these three concerts as part of a series of eight events in total is that we were able to plan in advance, with a multi-event package that has delivered both commercial and operational benefits for the client.

For each of the BT Murrayfield concerts, we deployed 16m of ATG Surface Guard pedestrian permeable HVM, six stillages of RB50, equating to a total deployment of 24m, and 39m of ARX Stopper!™ pedestrian permeable HVM to protect event goers on their way into the stadium and as they were leaving. On these occasions we worked to the venue’s own risk assessment, advising them on appropriate and proportionate risk mitigation measures aligned to their identified risk.

Our turnkey plan, provide, protect model was critical to the smooth delivery of the three BT Murrayfield concerts because it enabled a joined-up approach for the complex deployment requirements. Crowdguard’s trained operatives installed the mix of HVM equipment in pre-event locations early in the day to protect event goers as they gradually arrived in the vicinity of the stadium. Our teams also manned the installation during the course of deployment, including enabling authorised vehicles to access closed roads by wheeling the relevant RB50 array out of the way in just 15 seconds, then putting it back into position.

Once the audience was inside the venue, the HVM was de-rigged from its ingress locations and the roads were re-opened for the duration of the event. All equipment was then relocated and re-deployed for the egress security plan, to protect the audience as they left the stadium. For the egress deployment at an event like this, pedestrian permeability is critical to enable the smooth flow of footfall away from the stadium. Around 40,000 people were able to move through each array of ATG Surface Guard and ARX Stopper!™ within just 40 minutes!

The challenges for the Arctic Monkeys gig at Hillsborough Park. As the band was playing in a park rather than a stadium, the security challenges and environment were different. Once again working to the client’s risk assessment and requirements, our remit included working closely with the traffic management specialist to install different configurations for access and egress for the event.

Road closures before and after the event had to be protected from vehicle as a weapon attacks and vehicle incursions, while enabling flexibility and ease of access for emergency and authorised vehicles. We deployed a total of 20m of RB50 in three pre-event locations and five post-event locations. The project also involved 8.6m of ARX Stopper!™ for pedestrian protection, which was installed in an IWA-14-1 rated configuration for the pre-event deployment and in a VADS certified configuration for post event protection.

Claire Miller, Senior Public Safety Officer at Edinburgh City Council commented: “Crowdguard have a genuine understanding of the practicalities of event security. They are proactive in considering how to avoid bottlenecks at the end of the gig for example, and minimise disruption to traffic. With each gig, the deployment, de-rigging and redeployment of HVM was a complex operation that had to be coordinated with the length of the artist’s set on stage. All three BT Murrayfield events were managed seamlessly.”

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