Victorious Festival 2012 to present

Victorious Festival 2012 to present

In 2012 a boutique festival called Victorious Vintage first began inside the walls of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The first year presented a multitude of challenges to the events production team. Being located inside an historic site, the location housed several priceless national monuments. The site is also part of a large military base which is home to much of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.

The brief from our client was simple: The festival cannot compromise the site, the monuments or the Naval Base and there cannot be any crime.

The event therefore needed a significant amount of planning resources focused on it. A multi-layered plan including a number of bespoke solutions was constructed.

National monument protection

Due to the age of many of the monuments including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose the risk of fire was one of the greatest concerns. Vespasian was aware of the possibility that adding large crowds around the site would slow the response time of the onsite fire teams in the event of an incident.

As a result, Vespasian deployed all foot response teams with fire fighting equipment stored within specially designed response team packs.

Reduction and elimination of disorder

Although the anticipated demographic contained a large number of family groups, wherever there is access to alcohol, the risk of disorder is present. It was vital that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the senior officials within the Naval Dockyard had confidence in Vespasian to get the job done safely, whilst making sure no risk was posed to the Dockyard.

For this reason Vespasian introduced a larger number of Foot Response Teams than would normally have been deployed to an event of this size. Vespasian also introduced the use of Body Worn Cameras for the Response Teams as well as Senior Managers.

These cameras were particularly effective in reducing the likelihood of disorder as their overt use would defuse and de-escalate incidents.

 A restricted entry gate within close proximity to a busy road

One of the greatest challenges on site was the width of the only entry gate to the site. The gates width was not large enough to ensure the correct flow of customers during peak periods. The gate was also located only 5 metres from the kerb of a busy road carrying large numbers of buses and coaches.

Vespasian’s solution was to design a holistic queue, flow and search area system that did not impede the width of the gate in anyway. All search area infrastructure was brought inside the gate by 25 metres, whilst all queue lanes where customers would be sorted into categories was conducted 75-100 metres outside the gate. This enabled customers to flow through the gate width unimpeded by unnecessary infrastructure. It also ensured that the gateway was clear in the event of an emergency evacuation.

At all times of the day however, the system called for the kerb line to be lined with barrier and staffed. During egress each day, the kerb barrier line would extend away from the gate for a further 60 metres ensuring the road would not be inundated by the egressing crowd.

These are just some of the solutions created by Vespasian for the festival in year one. The festival was a huge success and has grown every year since. Since the events inception in 2012 Victorious has now grown to be one of the UK major festivals. Drawing over 120,000 people per weekend, the festival is the fastest growing festival in the UK. Vespasian has been with them every step of the way.

Feedback from the Victorious Festival team can be seen in the testimonials section of Vespasian’s website.

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  • Andy Denny

    We have never worked with a contractor from ANY area of the festival who is so dedicated to providing a first class service.


  • Nick Byrne

    Glad to see some friendly faces. When security greet you with a smile and a friendly hello, it’s hard not to give back and treat them with respect. Starting exchanges on the right foot makes a difference. Glad to see a security team that give the impression that they’re on ‘our’ side.

    Festival Customer

  • Ben Miles

    Vespasian has been with us from the start and we work well together as a team. We meet regularly to discuss service provision and they are flexible enough to meet our changing needs. Their expertise and experience of the industry have been invaluable to us and to the success of our venue.

    Little Johnny Russells

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Vespasian Security Ltd. holds SIA approved Contractor Status for the provision
of Door Supervision and Security Guarding services.