As industry insiders for over 40 years, we offer free, expert advice to event managers considering SONCO products – which is one reason why we get so distraught when we see music venues and festivals using the wrong equipment.
We know better than most that the results can be catastrophic, as proven by the many disturbing news articles and videos about barricades collapsing. As recently as 2019 (and as reported by Rolling Stone), “dozens were injured” at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival after a barricade collapsed under the weight of a dense crowd.
Thankfully, you can prevent this from happening at your venue by making an important distinction between two very different types of products:
Steel Barricades vs. Aluminum Stage Barriers
A steel barricade is commonly known as a bike rack barricade because that’s exactly what it looks like. While some of the SONCO steel barricades are strong and durable enough for many crowd control applications, they’re not meant for a roaring concert crowd.
Aluminum Stage Barriers, on the other hand, were designed specifically for concert venue and music festival safety. When you’re protecting the performers, staff, and attendees in a dense environment ripe for rowdy behavior, they’re downright essential.
Consider the genre of the music played, whether or not you serve alcohol, and whether or not a crowd will gather right up against the barrier between the stage and crowd. If the music is fast, the booze is flowing, and the crowd wants to be as close to the performers as possible, you absolutely need stage barriers – or risk serious injury.
When Bike Rack Barricades Make Sense for Stages
When you’re hosting a local street fest or farmer’s market that has a stage, that likely means people aren’t coming to see the performers. Instead, they’re there for food, drink, art, groceries, or whatever it may be, and the music is just a bonus. In this case, steel barricades likely make the most sense.
At SONCO, we’re firm believers in selling the right product, not the most expensive product. If your stage requires light crowd control, steel barricades can get the job done just fine. You’ll likely already use barricades to denote certain areas, create queues, and so on.
The Bottom Line
When you’re creating a barrier between the stage and the visitors, ask yourself this question: are they coming here for the music? If the answer is yes and the capacity merits it, aluminum stage barriers are the way to go. If the music is mostly background, simple steel barricades will do the trick.
At SONCO, we have you covered on both. But perhaps more pressingly, we have industry-specific advice to help you devise the best possible barrier or barricade system for your venue. Give us a call today at (888) 766-2615 or contact us online here.