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Axis for a safety touch at the Grey Cup Festival
Four days, 241,000 people, and no security incidents: how IP security helped festival organizers keep the peace
“We are a big believer in the quality of Axis cameras and in the ease of installing them. Axis is our flagship product. We didn’t consider using any other vendor for this project.” Al Mallard, Security Manager, Reliable Security and Controls.
The Grey Cup is the Canadian Football League’s biggest game, a one-day winner-take-all match between the East and West Divisional champions. Before the game, the host city stages Canada’s biggest party: the Grey Cup Festival. In November 2013, the four-day festival took over Regina, Saskatchewan, and 241,000 people streamed through the numerous venues. The outdoor party included a street festival, parade, concerts, teamsponsored celebrations and a fan football field, plus three massive tents. All large public events pose security hurdles, but with a huge space, bitter cold temperatures and 241,000 fired-up football fans, the Grey Cup Festival was an especially daunting challenge to secure.
To monitor this large setting, organizers worked with systems integrator Reliable Security and Controls of Regina to install 32 Axis network cameras, including HDTV-quality pan/tilt/zoom domes for high image usability and thermal units to monitor perimeters 24/7. Most of the cameras were connected via Ethernet to a mobile security trailer, while a few units located in a busy cobblestoned area were linked wirelessly.
From the earliest planning meetings, organizers decided to rely on a two-part security plan, part one was comprehensive video coverage, and part two was publicizing the presence of the cameras. That decision resulted in a peaceful and family-friendly Grey Cup festival. The four-day event was held without one security incident. Festival staff attribute the event’s safety in large part to the deterrent value of the Axis IP cameras.