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Solution Profile: Festivals & Events

The first priority for event runners is protecting attendees. Here's how they can do it safely and effectively.


Excited crows at a music concert with orange and red lighting

Background

Festivals and events are an integral part of many people’s lives. Most will enjoy a concert in a park, a local fall festival, or a football game in a massive stadium at least a few times a year. Depending on the type of event and the venue, attendee headcounts can range from a small group to hundreds of thousands. Venues are as varied as the events they host, with indoor and outdoor options for all kinds of interests.


The safety of festivals and events across the world has been brought into question in recent years. With fatal incidents such as the 2021 Astroworld crowd crush and the 2017 Las Vegas strip shooting, a spotlight has been shown on how insecure or improperly managed facilities can represent a real danger to attendees, staff, and performers alike.


Challenges

Festivals and events come with unique security challenges. Access points, inside and outside traffic flows, attendee and staff behavior, and the flow of merchandise must all be considered in order to maintain a safe and fun environment. With so many people together in a single location, the threat of violence, vandalism, and terrorism becomes a major concern. Oftentimes, physical security is minimal or non-existent, particularly at older venues built before the emergence of today’s modern threats. Venues with uncontrolled entry and exit points represent complex challenges for security teams, as these perimeter weaknesses compromise the security of the entire venue.


Security solutions must be able to scale based on event size. Video surveillance installations differ significantly in a large stadium from those in a community hall, for example. Larger venues require more extensive and complex systems, which represents a need for more manpower for installation, troubleshooting, and repair. Outdated or disparate video surveillance systems make venues harder to monitor and are more difficult and expensive to repair and maintain.


Wide shot of a full football stadium during a game

Luckily, many modern security solutions are capable of scaling to meet the needs of venues. Event-runners can count on video surveillance, access control, and other options to keep their events running safely and smoothly.


Solutions

Video surveillance is a key foundational component of event security. Live video combined with automatic suspicious event detection greatly extends the reach of a security team, often stretching to cover entire venue properties. Security cameras placed in key locations ensure no threat goes un-noticed and allow staff to check in on problem areas without physically visiting them. Video surveillance systems can also be augmented with different modules to increase their effectiveness, such as vehicle/human detection, license plate/vehicle recognition, facial recognition, object counting, and time-lapse recording. Customizing a video surveillance system to a venue’s unique characteristics can reduce complexity and increase efficiency. “Single pane of glass” platforms like the Novus™ AIoT Platform focus on event-driven exception management while consolidating events into a single online web app, making video monitoring much simpler and more cost-effective.


Keeping tabs on attendee and staff behavior ensures that minor issues can be addressed faster, before they become major problems. Video surveillance helps accomplish this with automatic event detection, such as unauthorized activity in restricted areas. This allows security teams to find and deal with the threat much more quickly. Video surveillance also allows for a greater degree of monitoring during the off-hours, when attendees and staff are absent.


Crowd of conference attendees passing through indoor building turnstiles

Access control represents another major aspect of event security. Organizers must balance the need to restrict unauthorized access with the importance of smooth and efficient entrance management. Security checks such as bag inspections play a vital role in venue security, but can also delay and frustrate attendees. With many venues now utilizing digital ticket systems to streamline entry, having technology-enabled systems is a must to keep everything flowing smoothly.


Fans enjoying a big concert with band visible on stage

Limiting access to sensitive areas can be accomplished in several different ways. While traditional lock and key systems can still be effective, technology-enabled options such as RFID key cards, ID badges, and even smartphone-based access can be quick, simple methods to grant access to employees.


Vehicles must also be considered when implementing access control for an event. Barrier gates are a common method of restricting entry, with mounted cameras increasing visibility and enabling security teams to manually grant entry after verifying a visitor’s identity. Utilizing technologies such as License Plate Recognition, event managers can automatically monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic and restrict entry to authorized vehicles only.


Twenty20 Solutions’ GateWatch Mobile access control solution – white crossover car waiting at closed entry bar

Unfortunately, active shooters have become an increasing threat in recent years, with both outdoor and indoor events experiencing gun violence. Information on the precise location of the shooter, along with key video imagery of the shooter, is critical for first responders who need every possible tactical advantage. When active shooters represent a grave threat, venues can turn to Active Shooter Location Identification (ASLI).


ASLI is a relative newcomer on the scene of event security. This security solution from Twenty20 Solutions represents the next generation of gunshot detection. Using battlefield-tested technology, ASLI detects and responds to shooting threats, capturing audio and video of the shooter(s) and sending the data directly to law enforcement – in mere seconds! This allows for much greater situational awareness from first responders, increasing safety both for them and for event staff and attendees. ASLI can be incorporated with access control hardware to automatically lock or unlock doors and gates, preventing access to shooters while granting victims additional time to get to safety. The incorporated video technology automatically logs video and photographic evidence of shooters for later use in identification and possible prosecution.


Benefits & Values

Attendee & Staff Safety

Greater Degree of Security

More Efficient Use of Resources

The safety of the people who staff and attend events is a top priority for organizers. Proper security precautions minimize threats and ensure staff can do their jobs and attendees can enjoy the event.

Comprehensive, technology-enabled security grants a greater degree of protection for festival and event venues. This leads to much better peace of mind for organizers and staff.

AI-enabled event security solutions act as a complement to your in-person teams, allowing you to save time and resources spent monitoring and patrolling.

Conclusion

With proper planning and security protocols, festivals and events are a rewarding and fun experience for all involved. Venues can use modern security solutions such as video surveillance, access control, and Active Shooter Location Identification to ensure the greatest level of safety, keeping festivals and events running for years to come. Contact Twenty20 today to learn more about the flexible, configurable solutions we provide.



About Twenty20

Twenty20 is a single-source provider of comprehensive security solutions. With an innovative AI-powered technology suite, hybrid IoT, Cloud and Edge computing platform, and fully automated, real-time, bi-directional hardware control, we develop solutions tailored to your security needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business.

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