If you’ve ever planned an event for a significant number of attendees, you know that crowds can get enthusiastic and difficult to manage. Whether it’s a book signing for a top author, a giveaway for a new and exciting product, or even a new attraction at a theme park or community event, sometimes attendee behavior can get out of hand. And quite frankly, no two crowds are the same.

So, if you are an event planner and have a large affair to coordinate, you need to understand the basics of crowd control to make sure things don’t run amuck, creating dangerous situations that can lead to the destruction of property, personal injury, and in the most extreme and alarming of situations, death.

Events can be disastrous when crowds get out of hand

The most important element of crowd control is safety. To maintain order, and ensure no one is needlessly injured, you need to be well organized. On Thanksgiving Day in 2008, eager shoppers lined up outside a Long Island Walmart to get the first pick of some highly coveted Black Friday specials. While the store had set-up some plastic barriers, customers were jumping over them and knocking them down by 3 AM Friday morning. By 5 AM, so much pressure had been built up that people were being crushed into the entrance doors. In this particular incident, one employee tragically lost his life, and several people were seriously injured. In 1989, 96 Liverpool soccer fans were not so lucky when they were crushed to death by rowdy and out of control fans. These are just two examples of many unfortunate incidents that occur at events with high attendance volume.

The need for barricade

If your event will require a queue for attendees waiting in line to enter or sequestered areas that are considered off-limits or unsafe to guests, a key tool that most event planners will leverage is crowd control barricades. These barricades can help keep people confined, but also send a visual signal to attendees that most will understand. In fact, when people see these barricades, it will tell them that either they can’t pass or need to look for a line.

Ensure security and proper authority at any large-scale event

While the proper barriers can provide substantial assistance for any large event, do not underestimate the value of added security. Many security guards and security guard companies specialize in crowd control management. These individuals can handle the flow of traffic should crowds be difficult to manage, and work great in combination with your barrier strategy.

Additional security to wander through the crowd throughout the event will help too. When people know that they are being observed, they are far more likely to keep from participating in unruly behavior. Thomas Jefferson is known for his famous quote, “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” While security and barriers can’t always prevent the worst from happening, you have much better odds statistically when you are properly prepared and plan for worst-case scenarios such as fights, drunkenness, stampeding, etc. And as a last suggestion for your event, ensure that local law enforcement has been informed and that any local ordinances are properly obeyed. If things do go downhill quickly, a well-informed law enforcement division will be more readily available to assist.

About TAP Barricade Rentals

TAP Barricade Rentals is a crowd management solutions company based in Raleigh, NC. We pride ourselves on providing the best customer service in the industry. Along with that, we provide a wide variety of crowd control and traffic control solutions for events and constructions sites of all sizes. We are proud to service the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia area. For your barricade needs, please call (919) 889-9699.

Whether you’re planning a small concert or large parade, crowd management and crowd control play an essential role in the event’s success. In fact, a thorough crowd management plan can not only enhance the logistics of your event but also provide you and your team with peace of mind. Here are some crowd control tips to keep in mind as you’re planning your next event.

What kind of event is it?

Do you know the type of event are you planning? What are the expected turnout numbers? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you accurately identify your crowd control needs like the type of barriers you should have on hand. An event like a concert or music festival could benefit from a variety of barricade styles, and in some cases it’s required. If alcohol is being sold, many municipalities around the country require some form of barricade to control the entrances of the event. Additionally, the city of Raleigh and many others require events that are closing city streets to have “safety barricades” or Type III Traffic control barriers. This article by the city of Raleigh has some incredibly useful information about planning events by the city’s standards.

Our products

High capacity events require a wide array of barriers and barricade:

  • Type III road closure barricades can help you control traffic around and inside your event. As previously mentioned, many cities require these barriers for any event closing public streets!
  • Stage barricade can provide top-notch security for your event personnel, production equipment, and most importantly, the crowd. This is typically seen between the stage of a concert and the pit area or front row of the crowd.
  • Bike rack barrier is the most simple crowd control solution. This style of barricade allows for the easiest setup and transportation, but it’s not for high-stress areas like the front of stages. The ability to easily disassemble these barriers makes them a great tool for smaller events, around emergency exit areas, or queue lines leading into your event.
  • Type II traffic barriers can be used to simply close off sidewalks, to corralling traffic and guiding marathon routes. Just like the Type III barricade, many cities require the use of these barriers as well, depending on the situation. 

Proper barricade placement

Identify and keep in mind where the essential equipment is at your event. These are the areas you need to protect with barricade. In doing so, you ensure that attendees won’t be able to tamper with equipment, and the chance of disruption at the event is minimized.

During the planning phase of your event, identify possible pinch points at your venue. These are the places where congestion is most likely to occur. Plan with local government officials on how to reduce the effects of these pinch points, either through redirection of attendees through barricade, or removing that area from the event grounds.

Crowd Management certification

North Carolina requires certified crowd control managers at any event where there are over 1,000 attendees. For every 250 attendees at an event, there should be one certified crowd manager on duty. To get someone at your event certified today, visit the North Carolina Department of Insurance website. Understanding correct barricade placement at your event creates a better experience for attendees, performers, and staff alike.

Emergency Exits

One of the most important aspects when creating a crowd management plan is emergency exits. While planning your event, you should always account for emergency exit locations and determine the number of emergency exits you must have based on attendance and space. Going hand in hand with emergency exits are emergency vehicle entrances. These entrances are another key component of your crowd management plan. Your government officials will have information on local requirements for this aspect of event planning.

As any experienced professional in the industry can tell you, unpredictability is commonplace in event planning. However, you can take steps to prevent unnecessary safety issues with proper crowd and traffic control planning. At TAP Barricade Rentals, we’re here to help make your next event run as smoothly as possible with strategic crowd control planning and placement. Contact us to determine your event’s needs today!

Deciding whether to buy barricade, or rent barricade is a major decision. There are many factors to consider when faced with this dilemma. To decide whether renting or purchasing is your best bet, you need to consider the following:

  • The frequency you will need barricade
  • The type of event(s) (street festival, music festival, concert, etc.)
  • The size of your event(s)
  • The risk associated with your event(s) (mosh pits, potential riots, crowd surges)

Who rents crowd control equipment?

The option to rent crowd control equipment is great for people who are putting on an event for the first time, for people who only have one to two events per year, and for people whose events require small amounts of multiple types of barricade. A low frequency of events is the main factor that prevents renters from purchasing crowd control equipment because making an investment requires additional year-round logistics and costs including storing and transporting the barricade.

Who buys over renting?

Many people decide to purchase their crowd control equipment. The most important aspect to consider is the frequency of use. Many music venues, production companies, and cities opt to buy barricade. It’s all dependent on their frequency of use and their available budget.

Unforeseen expenses with purchase

Purchasing equipment means equipment maintenance. Over time, the smaller pieces of crowd control equipment can wear down. Luckily, some barricade is designed so that these small pieces are easily replaceable with minimal effort and cost to the owner.

When investing in the purchase of stage barricade, look for pieces with a coffin lock system (also known as a Butt-Joint fastener). These are sturdily built and can handle high loads of stress.

Coffin lock system

You should also be very careful about who you purchase your barricade from. Look for a provider who will be consultative and honest about the risks and benefits, communicative, and have extra parts available. Nothing beats having your equipment on hand and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Not having to wait for quotes, delivery fees, and travel time make owning your own barricade a worthwhile investment.

Bike Rack Barricade

As with stage barricade, you should look for bike rack barricade that’s built tough. Being built in the U.S.A. is typically a good sign, as it likely means higher quality material. If you invest in police barricade, something to consider before purchasing that you might not know is to get product with interlocking hooks inside the frame so you never have to worry about them snapping off and needing to be replaced.

Next Steps

Are you considering renting or purchasing crowd control equipment, but can’t decide what the best option is for your business or event? Contact us today for a free consultation!