Securing smiles at the historic Bartholomew Fair

Between August 31st and September 16th, the City of London hosted the extraordinary Bartholomew Fair, involving three weeks of free and fantastic performances across the City of London. It was a reimagining of the city’s historic Fair, which was first held 890 years ago. In an enormous reconstruction of the largest historic event in the capital’s history, the city hosted more than 250 free events, live performances, and unique spectacles. A remarkable line-up of well-known UK and worldwide performers were brought to deliver a grand celebration of contemporary culture and London’s unique history.

To ensure such a spectacular event could be enjoyed securely by all, the City of London turned to Crowdguard for counter-terrorism risk mitigation and security planning. We were tasked with providing protection for all three weekends of events. Various locations required protection for each weekend, and our HVM solutions had to take into account the operational requirements for the event, which included re-opening roads to traffic outside of event times and enabling pedestrians to move around freely at all times. The counter-terrorism protection also needed to strike a balance between protecting fair-goers from vehicle attacks and incursions, while maintaining an atmosphere of fun and celebration.

Our response was to consider the threat, vulnerability, and risk for each location and each weekend’s event programme, selecting HVM systems appropriate and proportionate to mitigate risk and align with the Fair’s complex operational requirements. The ARX Stopper!™ system from ARX Security was the ideal solution, and we were able to brand the HVM units with the eye-catching artwork for the event to integrate it seamlessly into the streetscape.

Weekend One

The celebrations kicked off with weekend one –  Thursday August 31st – Sunday September 2nd, and the Crowdguard team deployed three arrays of ARX Stopper!™ in VADs configuration totalling 15 m of protection over three locations. To avoid any unnecessary disruption to traffic, the ARX Stopper!™ array was installed at 1pm on the Thursday and removed at 10pm on Sunday evening following the last of the weekend’s events, enabling the city to wake up as normal for the new week on Monday morning.

Crowdguard’s trained technicians not only deployed the HVM system on time according to our strict QA processes, but also stayed on site to supervise the equipment all weekend. The deployment also included our RAPAID emergency bandage kits, ensuring help would be at hand if anyone should need it.

Weekend Two

Following the success of the Fair’s first weekend, the Crowdguard team returned the following week to deploy 7m of ARX Stopper!™, once again installing the HVM in VADs configuration. This installation took place at Middlesex Street and was completed by 10am on Thursday September 7th before being removed following the last of the weekend’s shows at 8pm on Sunday 10th. Once again, ARX Stopper!™ was deployed with RAPAID kits and manned by Crowdguard operatives throughout the weekend.

Weekend Three

The closing weekend saw the return of 15m of ARX Stopper!™ in VADs configuration, this to protect Grand Avenue from 10am on Friday 14th September to 8pm on Sunday 16th September. This time, the configuration included a vehicle gate at one end of the street, comprising a four-metre, as rated array of the Highway Care RB50 HVM solution to allow access for authorised vehicles.

Safety in Numbers

The event was a roaring success and an incredibly busy three weeks, with thousands of visitors passing through performance locations. The proportionate specification and efficient deployment of ARX Stopper!™ and RB50 meant that crowds could enjoy all the fun of the fair, while moving around freely.

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