Festival season is almost here again, and it’s important to stay safe while having fun. In 2015, it was estimated that one in every 500 festivalgoers were victims of crime. People looking to enjoy a summer enjoying live music and an exciting community atmosphere also need to be aware of the security risks. Fuad Zain, Centre Owner of First Security Training, shares some top tips to keep you safe throughout the festival season.
1. Find out where the security are. People tend to behave better when they think they’re being watched. If you pitch your tent near to where security staff are posted, it is likely to remain safer. You’ll also be safe in the knowledge that if any trouble does start, the security won’t be too far away to come to your aid.
2. Find out where the medical tent is. In an emergency, you’ll be glad to get there quickly. Make sure you know exactly where to get help if you or one of your party is injured. If in doubt, you can ask security, and they’ll help you find the medical team. Many security staff also have first aid training, so may be able to help too.
3. Drug Awareness. Festivals are a hotspot for drugs. Last year, three deaths at Leeds Festival and T in the Park were linked to drug use, and a number of assaults have been linked to drink spiking. Some festivals, such as Leeds and Reading, have announced they will have a drug-testing tent, to ensure the safety of festivalgoers. If you suspect you or a friend has been spiked, you should seek help from the first aid tent or a member of security immediately.
4. Stick to busy areas of the festival. Safety in numbers is key here. Avoid the lonely, secluded spots, as this is a prime spot for criminals. Someone on their own is a much easier target than someone surrounded by people, however…
5. Be conscious of pickpockets, busy areas are great for these guys. Try not to carry too much money in one place about your person. Also, a great tip is to pick up an old mobile and leave your smartphone at home. Not only will it be less desirable for thieves but the battery will last forever.
6. Watch what you drink. Drunk people are far easier to take advantage of. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a festival heatwave, but beware, the heat can make any alcohol go straight to your head. Of course you should have fun, but make sure you or one of your group is looking out for danger. If you feel that anything is getting out of control, go straight to security for help.
7. Check your car is locked. If you’re driving to the festival, be aware if you lock your car using a key fob. Thieves are increasingly using signal jammers to prevent doors from locking when the fob is pressed, and the owner leaves the car open, allowing the thief to break in easily and steal any valuables. If you spot anything suspicious when parking your car, report it to festival security.
8. Find out what facilities are available. Larger festivals, such as Glastonbury, have free lock ups where you can store your valuables. Also, many festivals have an area for charging your phone, which is an absolute essential if you or one of your group go missing.
9. Tag your property. Go retro and channel your school days by marking up your property with your name and postcode. This will make your items easier to identify if they’re handed in at the Lost Property booth. Festivals like Glastonbury have UV pens you can borrow, if you want to secretly secure your stuff.
10. Make plans with your friends. Not everyone has the same taste in music or entertainment, but make sure you and your group arrange to meet regularly to make sure everyone is safe. If you have any concerns about the safety of any of your party, speak to a member of the security team