Music Festival Gate Security: A How-To Guide

music festival ticketing software

After the tragedy in Boston, large outdoor events are beefing-up their security measures at the entrance gates. And by increasing event security, the two music festival examples in this how-to guide are receiving an additional benefit - reduced ticket fraud at the gate.

Beefing Up Security

The horrific act of terrorism that occurred at this year's Boston Marathon has caused several major events to review and beef-up their security measures. One such event is the upcoming Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

As seen in the video above, the festival is building upon it well-earned reputation as a safe and fun event by expanding it security measures. This year, as in years past, Hangout will employ Gulf Shores city police, in addition to its own private security force, to keep patrons safe. The event reimburses the city with funds from ticket sales and according to NBC affiliate WPMI, the cost of security is built into the ticket price.

Uniformed and undercover officers will be hitting the concert grounds. Organizers say the added security has come as a direct result, on the heals of the Boston Marathon Bombing. "When you see something like that it's a very strong refresher that it can happen pretty much anywhere," said Grant Brown with the city of Gulf Shores.

The Hangout music festival is to be commended for cooperating with local law enforcement to ensure event security - a policy echoed the ThunderTix "Crowd Management at Your Venue" whitepaper.

Law Enforcement officials can help you identify crowd management concerns on the outside perimeter of your venue helping you establish safe routes of travel to and from the venue or when escorts for patrons should be offered. They can help determine if any hidden areas exist within the venue. Areas that are not clearly visible to the public should be blocked from access at all times to keep patrons safe.

The Coachella music festival has taken the event security to the next level by monitoring the activity of non-patrons (nearby area residents). As reported by the Los Angeles Times, monitoring non-patrons has actually been a Coachella security policy since 2011:

[Patrons] are scanned multiple times before entering the grounds. No one can so much as get within a mile of the Empire Polo Field, where Coachella is held, without wearing one. Local residents, whose homes surround the polo field, also have to wear one just to get to their houses, and Guitron said homeowners must also register their cars.

In this post 9/11 world, event security and patron safety, particularly at large outdoor events like music festivals, are of the utmost concern. In fact the financial success of an event is now reliant upon the safety and security measures put into place.

Event security and safety are legal (and moral) obligations, but once in place, there is a business benefit as well.

Selling Used Tickets = $10,000 Fine

Ticket fraud at the gate, where tickets are re-sold or re-used to gain admittance, is the fiscal bane of any festival operators existence. With the current penalties for ticket fraud being rather tame, untold millions of dollars are lost at venues and outdoor festivals each year. That may soon change however in the state of Florida.

Legislation, with support from Orlando area amusement parks, is being put together to greatly stiffen the penalties for re-selling or reusing a ticket.

The measure (SB 394), the fine for selling multi-park or multi-day passes after they have already been used once will balloon from $500 to a maximum of $10,000. Repeat violations will also become a felony, instead of a misdemeanor.

Even with the huge budgets venues like Disneyland and Universal Studios have for preventing ticket fraud at the gate, the issue is so costly, state legislation is being enacted. The hope is that once passed into law, all events, music festivals included, will inherit the reduction in unauthorized re-sale intended for the amusement parks.

Until then, all Florida events and venues will have to rely on their ticketing software and gate staff to enforce anti-fraud measures.

Get Peace of Mind from ThunderTix Festival Ticketing Software

State legislation and RFID armbands for non-patrons represent the extreme measures being put into place to counter ticket fraud and increase gate security. But whatever your security requirements are, it all starts and ends with your choice in music festival ticketing software.

The ThunderTix plan for music festivals is built around our industry leading barcode ticket technology - a powerful tool against gate fraud.

In addition to being a ticket fraud countermeasure, barcode ticket scanning also increases gate efficiency and that lowers your staffing costs. We have handheld scanners available for rent, should you need them, and the years of experience to help you choose the right one. We even have barcode scanners that work over cell phone 3G networks so you can link those dozens of entrances together in real-time.

ThunderTix has years of experience with gate control measures at music festivals. We offer comprehensive solutions for your event with multi-day wristbands, reserved seating, PDF print-at-home tickets, and compatibility with the most popular thermal printers.

If you are interested in learning more about preventing ticket fraud at the gate or the best practices in crowd control, be sure to take a look at our other features and sign up for a free trial today!