Lumiere Festival Durham

13 Feb, 2020
Edward Roberts

Starting life as a one-off event, Durham's Lumiere Festival has since gone on to become the UK's largest light festival. Such a high profile event required the best in temporary security, with the organisers opting for our innovative Surface Guard barrier.

Project Overview

Since its inception in 2009, the Lumiere Festival has grown from strength to strength with the last one in 2017, drawing well over 240,000 people across its four days. With so many people attending each year it became apparent that there was a need for greater perimeter security to protect festival-goers.

As such our Surface Guard deployment partner Crowdguard was brought on by Event Traffic Control to support them with the operation and provide hostile vehicle mitigation for the event. The festival itself is contained within the city centre and there were five key locations that needed securing with an HVM solution. 


The roads surrounding the event had to be closed from 2 pm until midnight each day to allow the public to wander through the various displays. With this in mind, the organisers were looking for a solution that could be quickly deployed and removed. They needed something that would keep disruption to a minimum before and after the event.

The second challenge they faced was that due to the high footfall they needed a solution that could easily allow crowds to flow through freely whilst still protecting them from potential vehicle attacks. 


Our groundbreaking Surface Guard barrier was the ideal solution. Its crowd permeable form allows for attendees to easily move through the system, even in high numbers. Thanks to its modular design the Surface Guard can also be deployed with vehicle access units. These units allow rapid entry for emergency vehicles, a key consideration for large-scale events like this.

To secure Lumiere, Crowdguard deployed 58 meters of Surface Guard across the five key locations. This was a particularly complex deployment due to the unique layout of Durham with its hilly geography and winding streets.  

For added safety at the event, signage was put in place by Event Traffic Control to warn drivers in advance of the HVM barriers in place. Their staff were also stationed at the vehicle access points throughout the city. 


The Surface Guard ensured that the event could go ahead with festival-goers safe in the knowledge that they were protected. The barrier provided security without disrupting the running of the event or causing alarm to the wider public, with Crowdgaurd receiving extremely positive feedback from those attending. 

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