Primus Protective Consultants Ltd are one of the UK’s leading Executive Protection specialists who provide tour and advance security for a number of major UK artists, including Beady Eye, Stereophonics, Joe McElderry and Military Wives.
All of their Executive Protection personnel are SIA licensed with an excellent understanding of the live event industry and Primus are committed to providing a professional service with excellent customer care and satisfaction.
Event Industry News met Sean Colsey and John Thompson from Primus to gain insight into the Crowd Management and Artist Protection industry and to find out more about the highly skilled service they provide.
1) What should event organisers take into consideration when they are making decisions about crowd management services and when should they start planning?
It’s never too early to start planning crowd safety measures for events, in particular music festivals. The main two things to take into consideration are licensing laws and guest, artist and staff health and safety. Without the correct measures being in place from the start, the event could be at risk of being cancelled by the safety advisory group. Organisers should also consult the Health and Safety Executive Events and Safety Guide, which is also known as the Purple Guide.
2) Is there a way of keeping costs down or cutting corners when it comes to security at events?
Crowd safety management is crucial to any event – as important, if not more important, than booking the right artists, merchandise, catering and so on. If you get crowd management measures wrong then not only can the litigation that ensues be very expensive but, more crucially, it can put people at serious risk. So I’d say that it’s something that shouldn’t ever be compromised.
The biggest issue is always the dynamic of the crowd. Inadequate stewarding and security can cause major problems – from not being able to deal with pressure from the crowd around the stage barrier through to bottlenecks in the crowd and, at worst, evacuation. If you don’t have enough staff then anything can happen really.
4) How do security measures at events in the UK compare to those in Europe and the USA?
There are fewer major incidents at events in the UK and overall we have an excellent track record in dealing with crowds safely. The UK is the leading authority on crowd safety management and many event organisers in Europe, South America and Asia use our models and also call on companies like Primus for advice and services.
5) What is the process that security and crowd management staff have to go through before they can work at events?
All staff who work on entry (ticket check and bag search), backstage, in front of the stage barriers and in as part of response teams should have SIA (Service Industry Authority) licences. This, however, is not mandatory but staff should have received extensive training in Health and Safety, “Pit” Training and 1st Aid for example, as well as Conflict Management skills. Primus has been providing specialist training through our sister company Primus Training, for over 10 years. Some of our regular staff are in fact people who started out by taking one of our courses!
6) How do you deal with fans who are trying to get backstage without the correct passes?
We get a lot of fans trying to get backstage and the way I explain it to them is that it’s just like a stranger turning up on their very own doorstep and trying to get into their house. If you turn it into a situation that people can relate to they seem to accept that much quicker than simply telling them that they can’t. In extreme cases, or if a situation gets out of hand, the response teams will get involved but we usually try to reason with people before we resort to that.
7) What makes Primus different from traditional event security companies?
We pride ourselves on taking a very flexible approach to our clients’ requirements. Recently we have expanded the service that we provide so that we can now also include a tour management function for clients such as Joe McElderry and the Military Wives. In doing this we are fulfilling a valuable dual function and ensuring everything – from promotional duties through to the artists welfare are taken care of – as well as ensuring their safety.
To find out more about Primus Protective Consultants Ltd. visit http://www.primusprotection.com
Category: General Event Industry News