Crime and Personal Safety

Have you any advice regarding Crime Prevention and Personal Safety at Music Festivals?

Festivals are full of fun loving and like-minded people but be aware that they are also an easy patch for career criminals and opportunists who know how festival goers tick, and Download, Latitude, Camp Bestival Dorset, Camp Bestival Shropshire, Reading and Leeds Festivals are sadly no exception.

So, Hotbox Events have teamed up with Festival organisers and the Police to provide information to staff, volunteers, festival goers and parents that may help. We are all keen to ensure that all who attend our festivals do what they can to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of crime and so have compiled the following music festival savvy tips – some tips probably wouldn't work anywhere else but at a festival!

Please read through the advice below and plan ahead for the event...

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Have you any advice regarding Valuables?

Quite simply – please DON'T BRING THEM! Don't be flash. Expensive cameras, jewellery, tablets, MP3 players etc. - you don't need them – there will be enough going on for you to be entertained without them.

Use the UV pens (available at the Hotbox Festival Office!) to write your name and phone number onto any valuables for easy identification.

Festivals are now mostly cashless. If you still want to bring cash, split your cash and cards into two hoards so that if one lot goes - you have a backup.

Don't carry anything valuable in your programme pouch or on a lanyard - unless it is kept hidden under a shirt or jumper.

Don't carry anything in back pockets - the event is busier than Oxford Street, especially at the stages, and chances are you'll have a drink and so will be less aware than usual - pick pockets love it. Front side pockets with zips or bumbags are better.

Don't leave anything valuable in your car - try to go and check on your car twice during the show. At Reading shuttle boats are free for offsite car parks and the trip on the river is very nice! Leave your glove compartment empty and OPEN.

There is a safe in the Hotbox office for small valuables like passports, birth certificates and car keys to be kept during the festival if you don't want to keep them in your tent, however we cannot accept responsibility for them. If you leave your valuables at the office please remember to collect them before you go home after the festival!

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Have you any advice regarding the Campsites?

Even in the crew campsites thieves can be present.

If you have any concerns about your safety in the campsite, camp somewhere well-lit or near to an office.

Introduce yourself to those around you, show them where your tent is, stick a funny flag on it so it's easy for them to see, and ask them to keep an eye out. They will.

Setup a neighbourhood watch system, it may sound naff but experience shows that the best and friendliest campsites are the ones with people in that make the effort to do so. More friends to party with too!

Report anything or anyone suspicious to your supervisor or the Hotbox office – you can do this anonymously if you wish - it's one of the things our staff team are there for!

Don't put a padlock on your tent as this will invite thieves.

Don't bury your valuables by your tent as someone is bound to be watching.

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Have you any general advice regarding Personal Safety at Festivals?

Install a tracker app on your phone so your friends can track it if you lose it or you get lost. Make sure your mobile is charged up on a daily basis - in the early afternoon - so that it is ok for the night when it's dark, the site gets busy and you are more likely to get lost. You can charge your phone in the Hotbox Events marquee which you'll find in the compound where you'll be camping, usually next to the Hotbox Events office. Traders sell battery operated phone chargers if you need them. Ask at the information tent for exact locations of these traders. Plan ahead. It can take a long time to get from A to B...

Keep your phone well hidden and try to back it up before you get to the music festival just in case you lose it or it breaks whilst you're there. If you do lose your phone, make sure you report it at the lost property tent, the zone hub where you lost it and at the Hotbox Office and don't lose faith - lost phones are handed in all the time at festivals so it doesn't mean that it's gone forever! Before you get to the festival, add a note to your phone's lockscreen or stick a sticker to the back of your phone case with a contact number for a friend that can be called if your phone is lost and gets found by someone.

At night stay on the main roads in the campsites – don't go exploring darker, quieter areas – you can do that in the day. Stay in groups and be tolerant of people slowing you down.

Don't leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers, and if your drink doesn't taste right, don't finish it. If you or your friends start to feel unwell, seek help from the nearest festival steward straightaway.

Arrange an easy meeting point with your mates before you get to the music festival and also somewhere you'll be able to meet up three times a day (e.g. 2pm, 6pm and 1am). No one likes to be left to have fun on their own for long.

If you become separated from your friends or begin to feel uncomfortable in the festival campsites and arena, head to the nearest information point. There are Hotbox Events staff and volunteers at the zone hubs all over the festival site who are there to help you!

If you do become a victim of thieves – DO NOT RESIST – give them what they want and make sure you get a good look at them or their clothes and report the incident ASAP so we have a good head start. Also, make a note of exactly where you are if you can – look out for loos, fire towers, unusual tents, what colour the bunting is and what the road name is. There's CCTV all over the festival site, so as soon as you can get a description to Event Control, the better chance there is of finding the culprit.

The welfare tent is there for you, as is the onsite police station. These facilities are there to help you if you need them. Your Hotbox Events managers, supervisors and the team in the office are also there for you twenty-four hours a day. If you need anything, please just drop in and we'll do all we can to help.

If you experience an incident with a security guard, steward or any other member of our staff that you want to tell us about – please make a note of their tabard colour and number, or the name on their pass. Without this information, we can do very little as identifying them without a name or number is very difficult.

Please don't be alarmed by our advice - just be forewarned that it does happen to some people and we don't want it to be you. Plan ahead.

We want you to have the most memorable festival of your life for all the right reasons!

Further crime reduction advice and contact details for the Police can be found via the festival and event websites.

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