Paaspop is a three-day music festival that takes place in Schijndel, in the Netherlands, during the Easter weekend. Young and old gather to enjoy the first days of spring. The event has been running for more than 40 years and is the big opener of the festival season. Paaspop boasts seven stages and 25 000 daily visitors. To prevent any incidents at the festival, the security team keeps a close eye on proceedings using Hikvision cameras.
“It’s a festival that has a lot to offer for everyone,” says Geert Goijaarts, organiser and former member of the Paaspop management team. “We offer theatre, hard-style, dance, rock, metal...just name it. But the main attraction is obviously the public itself. The unbridled enthusiasm of the festival visitors is fantastic.”
Organising the festival is a major operation. Every year a tent village emerges, being built and then dismantled within a few days. A large number of companies and individuals are closely involved with Paaspop in the weeks and months leading up to Easter and the event’s security is one of the major areas of concern. “For me, a festival is a success when people return to their homes safely. Tired, yet satisfied,” says Goijaarts.
In order to have a festival without any incidents, Paaspop uses Hikvision video cameras. “With regards to security, you have several important tasks,” says Goijaarts. “You’ll want to know what kind of people are entering the place, and keep a good eye on their mood. If something unacceptable happens, you can act quickly. In addition, we use cameras for crowd control. At peak hours, the festival site accommodates almost 25 000 visitors and you want to prevent all of them going to the same location at the same time. The use of cameras enables us to take timely measures.”
Paaspop purchased the Hikvision cameras after consulting with Werner van der Heijden of WH Safety. Van der Heijden advises Paaspop on the event’s best safety measures, and installs the security systems. “They are very high-quality cameras that allow you to guard areas extremely well. The zooming function in particular is outstanding. Our PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) camera’s image is so sharp that we can even count the blades of grass from a distance of a few hundred metres,” he explains.
A sharp image like that is essential, because it’s important to see people’s facial expressions in large crowds, and recognise faces. Do they look happy, scared, or angry? Based on this, security can decide to intervene or not. Having good night vision is equally important as Paaspop is a festival that lasts till the early hours. So, they also want good eyes on what is happening in situations with minimal light. Hikvision’s infrared cameras offer excellent features for this. Even in pitch darkness, they still provide a clear view of the visitors.
Paaspop uses over 40 cameras to monitor the entire festival area. The devices send their images to a control room, where two communication officers monitor everything closely. In the event of calamities, they can immediately inform people on the ground to act. Whenever a tent gets too crowded, the entrance is closed, with people only being allowed to enter after someone leaves.
“The cameras are an extra pair of eyes for the festival security,” says Van der Heijden. “Standing in a corner of the tent, it is difficult to establish what’s going on. However, from the control room, using the Hikvision cameras, it’s no problem at all.”
Paaspop has several cameras in use. For example, the 16MP PanoVu camera gives a 360° view. This model hangs in a mast above the main stage, providing a 360-degree image of the crowd. The camera also contains an additional zoom lens. This allows you to see everyone at the entrance from the main stage.
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