26 February 2024

Essential Skills for Security Operatives at Festivals

Even though the summer months might seem some time away, in terms of planning and preparation, the festival season really is right on the horizon now. For all parties concerned – be they clients, contractors and agents, local authorities and police forces, and customers and the general public, it’s important to recognise the vital role that security operatives play in ensuring safety and enhancing the overall experience at these events. Let’s uncover the essential skills that make security operatives such invaluable assets to any festival experience.

Beyond the SIA licence

In selecting security operatives for festivals, it’s not merely about fulfilling SIA licence checkboxes or meeting regulatory standards in terms of qualifications and experience; it’s about carefully selecting individuals who personify the core principles of security, safety and service. Surely empowers clients to meticulously handpick operatives based on their qualifications, experience and proven track record. This approach ensures that clients know they are selecting the most suitable and capable operatives for their festival security needs. They can even chat with them before making a decision – that’s a world away from being sent any Tom, Dick or Harry at the very last moment. Mindset and attitude are of paramount importance when it comes to choosing the right security operatives for the job for events and festivals around the UK this spring, summer and autumn.

Professionalism and customer service

Professionalism and customer service

Professionalism and customer service are critical aspects of a security operative’s toolkit. Instances of conflicts escalating unnecessarily or operatives not following event policies can compromise the festival experience for attendees. SurelyPro badges, like Conflict Management and Customer Service, serve as markers of a door supervisor’s professionalism, indicating an operative’s dedication to delivering exceptional service while maintaining a safe environment for all.

Continuous professional development

Continuous professional development is vital in a constantly changing landscape of security threats and regulations. Operatives equipped with additional training and certifications not only inspire confidence, but also demonstrate their commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest standards of safety and professionalism at all times. Clients can also choose operatives with specific language skills too, ideal for cultural events where customers may come from all corners of the globe.

Inclusivity and diversity

Inclusivity and diversity are the foundation stones of modern event planning. Clients increasingly seek operatives who can demonstrate sensitivity and awareness towards diverse communities and accessibility needs. Surely’s Inclusivity Pledge is aligned with the Equality Act 2010 and empowers operatives to broaden their understanding in these areas, promoting inclusive and welcoming festival environments for all attendees, with regards to the nine protected characteristics.




Reliability is undeniably one of the most important attributes for festival security operatives. The repercussions of last-minute no-shows or operatives turning up late extend far beyond mere inconvenience; they can pose significant challenges for event organisers, potentially compromising not only safety protocols and legal guidelines, but also impacting on the overall festival atmosphere. With Surely, clients are provided a valuable opportunity to assess operatives’ reliability through our comprehensive reviews and feedback system. This transparency empowers clients to make well-informed decisions, enabling them to mitigate potential risks and ensure the smooth and efficient operation of festival security measures.


Satisfaction is a crucial aspect that goes beyond just ensuring security and safety at festivals. It encompasses the overall experience that attendees have, shaping their memories and influencing their decision to return in the future and spread a positive message with others (a big deal with social media). When security operatives exhibit professionalism, competence and courtesy, they not only provide a sense of security, but also contribute to the overall positive atmosphere of the event. Their actions can leave a lasting impression on attendees, fostering a desire to come back year after year to relive the enjoyable experience. We all remember the charming, happy operatives who encourage us to dance and get into the swing of things in general.


Adaptability is a crucial trait that security operatives must possess when working in the dynamic environment of festivals. Each festival presents its own set of challenges and complexities, ranging from fluctuating crowd dynamics to unexpected incidents requiring quick resolution. Security operatives must be skilled at quickly adapting to changing circumstances, demonstrating flexibility and agility in their approach. Whether it’s managing large crowds, diffusing tense situations or responding to emergencies, operatives need to navigate through diverse scenarios with ease and effectiveness. Their ability to adapt ensures that they can effectively address any situation that arises, maintaining safety and security throughout the event.

Appearance and attitude

Appearance and attitude often form a powerful first impression between attendees and security operatives. An unkempt appearance or a negative behaviour trait can diminish festival spirit before it even begins. Surely’s platform minimises uncertainties by showcasing operatives’ professional profiles upfront, allowing clients to assess their suitability based on appearance, attitude and past performance.

Communication and teamwork

Communication and teamwork

Communication skills are another foundation of effective festival security. Clear and concise two-way and multi-level communication is essential for coordinating with fellow operatives, discussing situations with event organisers and interacting with event visitors. Operatives who can communicate effectively not only enhance the efficiency of security operations but also foster trust with festival goers.

Teamwork is the glue that holds festival security operations together. In the dynamic environment of large scale events, operatives must work cohesively as a team across a large geographical area to anticipate and address potential security risks. Collaborative problem solving and mutual support are essential for maintaining order and ensuring the safety of attendees.

Where drink and drugs are readily available, an ability to foresee problems and manage people in vulnerable situations can make all the difference between a tremendously positive outcome and an extremely negative one – this is often down to the tact, diplomacy and people skills of the individual operative, all of which are identifiable through the Surely platform in multiple ways. Clients can even communicate directly with security operatives through Surely’s in-app chat, phone and video features before making a final decision on who to sign up.


Flexibility is a characteristic that holds immense significance in the world of festival security operatives. Festivals are notorious for their unpredictability, with sudden changes often occurring at a moment’s notice. Whether it’s a change in the schedule, unexpected weather conditions or unanticipated emergencies, security operatives must be prepared to adapt quickly and effectively. Those who display flexibility and resilience in the face of adversity prove to be valuable assets to event organisers. Their ability to remain composed and adaptable in challenging situations ensures that they can navigate through uncertainties seamlessly, ultimately contributing to the overall success and safety of the event.

Again, the Surely platform allows clients to see evidence of this by security operatives in many different ways, such as through the review system, their bios, chat options, SurelyPro badges and Inclusivity Pledge to name but a few.


Ultimately, the success of a festival depends on the collective efforts of all involved, with security operatives playing a pivotal role in ensuring the safety, security and satisfaction of attendees. By refining essential skills such as reliability, professionalism, adaptability, communication, teamwork and flexibility, security operatives can elevate the festival experience, leaving a lasting impression on all who attend.

But this is only half the equation – the other side of the coin is that clients need to make sure that they do their bit too. That means clear briefings, good comms equipment supplied in sufficient quantities., a respect for their duty of care responsibilities, financial clarity, fair pay and quick payment. All of these factors – and many others we could also mention – are an essential feature in delivering a mutually beneficial win-win outcome that will be to the benefit of all stakeholders – including customers, local authorities, police forces and the general public – not just clients, agents, contractors and security operatives.