Internal Infrastructure

Introduction 

In order to make an event enjoyable, it must first be safe. Planning and organisation on behalf of the festival organiser are crucial in order to implement safety across the entire festival. Whilst festival organisers have a duty of care to ensure the correct measures are in place, this duty of care is extended when hosting a festival at a purpose-built event venue, such as a Showground. 

A Showground, unlike a greenfield site, has a strong and enriched heritage of hosting events and for them, the safety of their staff and visitors is just as important to them, as it is for the event organiser. 

Security 

This means for festival organisers that event venues are already equipped with substantial safety measures to guarantee the protection and welfare of all the events that are hosted on their venue. The table below highlights an example of security features a Showground may contain, opposed to a Greenfield site. 

 

Showground

Greenfield Site 

East of England Arena

CCTV

Palisade Fencing

Security Company 

Heras Fencing

✓ 

750 Herras fence panels and base. 

Key Coded Gate Access

Internal Roadways 

5KM of internal roadways. 

Crowd Control Barriers 

3000 crowd control barriers 

Entry onto site

3 x site entrances, including access directly from the A1. 

First Aid / Paramedic Centres 

2 x permanent first aid/paramedic centres. 

The very nature of a festival nature means bringing a backpack full of belongings to a field and sleeping in a tent, at which point surfaces the matter of safety for the festival attendees. As a festival organiser, your responsibility to ensure as little crime occurs at your festival is a demanding and important one. 

This task is even more intense when faced with a greenfield site, with no safety features already in place. Choosing a Showground as a venue for your festival means the venue come with an array of safety provisions, making your festival attendees more willing to buy a ticket for your festival, and it also means as an organiser, you are not faced with unexpected costs for security equipment.

Internal Roadways 

Another notorious element of festivals is the unpredictable British summer weather. In the history of festivals, inclement weather has been the cause of most of their closures. Many festival venues simply have not had the facilities and infrastructure to operate their events safely and effectively once bad weather hits. YNOT 2017 saw their festival cancelled due to safety concerns following the torrential rain, Download 2019 further caused misery as those spending nearly £200 on a ticket for entry to a giant mud pit. 

For a festival organiser cancelling due to bad weather, prompts complaints that they have not prepared for the inevitable reality of British summertime. It also triggers festival-goers questioning the price of their ticket, what have they paid for if the price of their ticket cannot be justified on the quality of the festival venue? Charging hundreds of pounds for a ticket means your festival venue must be able to handle unprecedented incidents such as a turn in bad weather, to keep the festival going and the festival-goers happy. 

Greenfield Sites 

Whilst a greenfield site screams flexibility immediately it also screams money. Starting on a site from scratch means building and bringing in everything.  Roads need to be built on sites which have no access, these can cost around £250,000. Choosing a greenfield site as your festival venue increases your chance of the above happening if inadequate internal roadways and drainage systems have been built. As you are only using the site as a temporary measure, the infrastructure has to be temporary, meaning it will not the capacity or capability of a permanent installation.  

Showgrounds

Purpose-built event venues, like showgrounds, have proven ability in hosting outdoor events, and doing it successfully. Their success is down to the purpose-built infrastructure they have at the venue to deal with unprecedented events like a turn in the weather. Showgrounds have internal roadways and hard standing, so when the inevitable weather occurs, they are still able to get visitors and vehicles moving, and the all terrain capabilities to unstick any vehicles that become accidentally mired in soft ground.

As a festival organiser, you are able to justify the price of your ticket on the sophistication of your festival venue, if you choose a showground as your location.