Showsec successfully introduced a new look stewarding and security service at V Festival, beginning a long term contract with festival owners Roseclaim Ltd.
Held at Staffordshire’s Weston Park, in tandem with the sister event in Chelmsford, over 85,000 people gathered for the two-day event to see performances by international rock and pop headliners, which this year include Beyoncé and Kings of Leon.
One of the premier festivals in the UK, V Festival has a very strong festival brand identity that has been developed along with a team of contractors delivering their vision across eighteen years. Early discussions established how Showsec and Roseclaim Ltd could best work together this year to achieve improvements in customer experience, to positively develop the festival and strengthen its brand values.
Extensive planning and two way communications led to a fresh, innovative security service to manage the crowds. This built on the systems and standards that Showsec is renowned for in the UK, all in line with the client’s vision for the festival.
Andy Redhead, festival organiser, said: “You’ve got to strive to stay ahead of the game and keep things new. Showsec has performed really well this year despite the challenge of them being new to the festival and having to adapt into what we’re doing. They’ve coped really well in trying times given the terrible weather on Friday.
“We’re really pleased with how the weekend went. Being on the backfoot on Friday with weather against us, we battled for a couple of hours and came out on top. And it stayed that way. We’re fortunate that we work with such professional agencies planning the festival and we’re looking forward to starting preparations for 2014.”
Showsec provided upwards of 1,300 security staff to the main Weston Park festival site and camp sites, using combined festival security experience and knowledge to provide a customer-focused service. This was Showsec’s ninth major festival this summer, with security professionals and stewards drawn from all ten UK offices. They were led by a vastly experienced management and supervisory team of over 150 that was headed by Showsec director Mark Logan.
Logan said: “In building the project we were conscious of having to hit the ground running in year one and our major objectives were to integrate management style and team with the dynamics of the site and ensure we built key strategic and operational relationships with the relevant stakeholders.
“The major successes of the weekend have manifested in a successful, proactive anti-drug campaign, a re-design of the festivals egress system and an uplift in the proactive customer services delivery, which has cascaded downwards from the management team. Overall we’re delighted with our team’s delivery and contribution to maintaining V Festival Weston Park’s reputation as a safe and engaging event to attend.”
Creating a safer festival environment was a central pillar of Showsec’s operational strategy, so it was particularly pleasing that crime figures were particularly low this year, with around a 10% reduction in overall crime. In particular a joint venture with Staffordshire Police and Showsec to target drugs being brought onsite resulted in over 1,000 searches leading to over 100 ejections. This tactic allowed Police to focus on dealers throughout the weekend.
Peter Owen, chief inspector of the Staffordshire Police, said: “We feel it’s been a successful year and shown more than anything how the multi agency operation with the promoters and a professional security firm, can actually make a difference. The size of the festival is the equivalent of a small town and the relatively small amount of crime we have had is a real achievement. We’re thrilled about the fact we’ve seen a further reduction than previous years in crime numbers. Working alongside and proactively with Showsec has aided this year in being the most successful V Festival yet – a result from the planning alongside Showsec and event management that’s been in place since last September.”
Logan concluded: “A key challenge was to engage with the V Festival audience to gain their trust, being the new security company. The whole operation was designed to be a balance of keeping people safe, without the customers feeling that there is an overbearing security presence preventing them enjoying the event. The friendly nature of Showsec staff continued through to the campsites, building on prior successful campsite operations at other festivals such as Download Festival and Bestival, so that customers saw security that they can trust to look after them around the clock while they are at V Festival.”