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Traffic Management for Music Festival Sites.

Andy Robertson

Festival-goers regularly complain about congestion and chaos when arriving, parking and leaving music festival sites. Although sheer volumes of attendees are often the main cause of this there are steps that organisers can take to mitigate congestion. How should festival organisers go about managing their on-site traffic.

A sizable music festival site may be able to accommodate a substantial number of vehicles and the ability to accept festival-goers using their own transport is key to attracting significant numbers to an event. Historical data can help organisers to assess the likely number of vehicles and it is essential that they plan and manage traffic effectively to prevent potential problems. 

The physical layout of a site can dictate how vehicles access and park on a site and organisers need to prepare the ground ensuring it is flat with temporary permeable paving added if necessary. A traffic impact assessment can be conducted by specialists who can analyse traffic flow by time and route to make accurate predictions. This data can be used to plan on-site traffic flow patterns and inform local authorities and the police about potential traffic jams affecting local access roads. With a comprehensive plan in place organisers should communicate with festival-goers to inform them of preferred routes to the site along with entrance locations and allocated parking zones. Emergency services, contractors, vendors, sponsors and artists should have dedicated site entrances that allow unhindered access and egress. 

Transport Alternatives. 
As part of their sustainability objectives organisers prefer to push festival-goers to alternative transport options like trains, buses and coaches. It is also possible to promote some form of ridesharing or carpooling among attendees. Getting festival-goers to use alternative transport options rather than private vehicles can help alleviate potential traffic congestion and contributes towards reducing the festival’s carbon footprint. Some organisers offer preferred parking options to private vehicles that have greener credentials (Hybrids and PHEVs) although allowing EV’s on site with charging stations can be a contentious issue as charging stations would often need to be powered by fuel generators. 

On-site Traffic Management and Flow. 
It is essential that all staff on traffic management and parking duties are fully trained in how to manage traffic flow with an intimate knowledge of the site plan. The creation of clearly signposted parking zones and matching pre-issued tickets for vehicles means that both drivers and staff know where vehicles should go. Festival-goers with pre-paid parking can be allocated a specific entrance gate and parking zone along with a specific arrival and departure time which can spread traffic movement over a longer time. 

Dynamic Management. 
Staff managing traffic and parking will need to adapt to changing situations which are not uncommon on festival sites. Inclement weather can change the dynamics of parking zones with festival-goers deciding to depart earlier than expected. If the ground used for parking has not been well prepared it can quickly turn into a quagmire making it difficult for drivers to exit parking areas. Having tractors and other 4-wheel drive vehicles available for such situations can assist drivers to recover from getting stuck. Use of CCTV with constant monitoring can provide a more holistic view of the overall festival site traffic situation and allows observers to make traffic management decisions on the fly. 

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including a contractor management module. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Image by Aayush Srivastava via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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