Aug 2011 Mojo Barriers debut configuration at Reading and Leeds Festivals

Mojo Barriers at Reading Festival August 2011 (2)Mojo Barriers introduced new barrier configurations to this year’s Reading and Leeds Festivals from 26th – 29th August.

Mojo Barriers worked closely with organisers Festival Republic to develop a bespoke front of main stage barrier design, incorporating BLMS (Barrier Load Monitor Systems), and NME/Radio 1 stage barrier designs. The new designs were suitable for both the Reading and Leeds sites.

A total of 1,100m of stage barrier was supplied to each festival, which included Mojo’s line-up gate system for the silent disco.

Mojo’s BLMS detects and records pressure applied by the crowd throughout the event with its unique pressure sensors. It was first used five years ago at Reading and Leeds and includes CCTV monitoring and personal observation by production and security professionals to monitor crowd dynamics.

As a result of previous years’ results analysis, Mojo installed one of its trademark thrust systems into the main arena as a primary stage barrier, a first for the Leeds and Reading Festival. This was complemented by an extended secondary double line system.

The Radio 1 / NME stage also had a new design, a double line barrier that incorporated the front-of-house position and tent support legs. With the huge new tent capacity of 20,000 this prevented any risk of illegal access to the tent poles, provided a safe environment for the audience, while giving working personnel greatly improved access.

Jim Gaffney, UK Director at Mojo Barriers, explains:

“We are always looking for ways to make improvements to deliver the safest festival environment which offers best possible experience for the audience, which is very important to the organisers.

“Extensive planning and consistent liaison with Melvin Benn and Luke Cowdell at Festival Republic enabled us to develop these completely new barrier designs to minimise the impact of the crowd surging , in particular lateral (or sideways movement) and audience collapses.

“The thrust in the centre was introduced primarily to counteract the lateral movements that had been observed, in particular at Leeds Festival. It’s the first time this configuration has been used at these festivals and we have received positive feedback from the security company in the pit, along with the organisers, on its effectiveness of reducing sideways surges. It completely stopped any audience collapses and gave all working personnel far greater access to the audience than previous years.

“With the extended secondary system behind it, we have definitely created a safer event without compromising enjoyment.”

This new layout was cleverly utilized by 30 Seconds to Mars, who built a ‘V’ shaped custom-made stage within the thrust in front of the stage while they performed, creating an intimate and closer audience experience.