Parking Facilities

Introduction 

Festivals often generate headlines of visitors trapped in muddy car parks, traffic congestion for hours on end, tractors towing cars out and tow trucks being towed out by bigger tow trucks. With the temperamental British weather conditions, stories like these are inevitable if the infrastructure and management systems are not in place. 

The table highlights the comparison between the facilities and systems contained within a showground, in comparison to a Greenfield site. 

 

Internal Roadways 

Carpark (on hardstanding ground) 

Traffic Management Control 

showground

Greenfield

East of England showground

5KM of internal roadways.

Total capacity of 22,000s on both hardstanding and grass overflow. 

Well established relationship with Traffic Management Company. 

Car Chaos

Glastonbury 2016 was defined by traffic chaos, with fans stuck in the mud causing traffic delays for hours.  Bestival 2017 and Portmeirion's Festival No.6 presented the same problem, suffering from the adverse weather conditions resulting in tractors being called in to rescue cars trapped in the mud. Incidents like this are always the first story to make headlines, rather than the success of the event, attracting bad press and affecting future ticket sales. 

Showgrounds 

In order to prevent headlines like these, as a festival organiser, you should explore other alternative venue options. The nature of showgrounds means that they have the facilities for onsite parking, on both hardstanding surface and on the grass. The presence of well-developed infrastructure at event venues can prevent cars from getting stuck so festival-goers can not only enjoy the event but can also enjoy easy access both in and out of the festival.

Traffic Congestion

On a greenfield site, unless festival organisers employ a traffic management company, they're likely to face traffic problems as the thousands of festival-goers attempt to arrive and leave the festival. Whilst the provision of a traffic flow system may ease the traffic on a greenfield site itself the road networks around, farms and fields are  often small rural roads, which won't be able to cope with the quantity of traffic a festival brings. 

Traffic congestion, parking problems and pollution all go hand in hand where festivals and the environment are concerned. This issue is more prevalent where greenfield sites are the choice of venue, distant from centres of population and public transport links.

A survey revealed that out of 649 festival visitors, 70% believed that festivals were responsible for causing traffic congestion and 61% of them confessed to travelling by car.  This highlights a major problem faced by festival organisers. Working with public transport providers may help to reduce congestion and pollution, but it will still always remain a problem when choosing a greenfield site as a venue.

Traffic Management System

Event venues, like showgrounds, are fortunate to be situated nearby main roads. East of England showground is based off the A1, with easy access onto the main road from the arena combined with a well-established relationship with a traffic management company, enables efficient traffic control at major events, avoiding hours of congestion.