mojo barriers

EVAGO acquires Mojo Barriers

German event infrastructure provider EVAGO has acquired 100 per cent of Mojo Barriers, in a significant step in its expansion.
 
The company aims to become one of the world’s largest players in the international live events market, and the addition of Mojo Barriers to its portfolio secures access to international crowd management and infrastructure markets.
 
Goran Marincic, CEO, EVAGO AG, said:“Thanks to this strategic acquisition, we will continue to strengthen our position in the international market over the long term and advance our growing event infrastructure capabilities with the global stock and team of Mojo Barriers.
 
“Mojo Barriers is renowned for quality, flexibility, knowledge, experience and reliability worldwide. We are delighted to welcome a strong brand that matches our group perfectly, which will accelerate the growth of both companies.”
 
Marincic added that Mojo Barriers would remain a standalone company after the acquisition and continue to offer crowd management solutions for a wide range of live events.
 
Alex Borger, CEO, Mojo Barriers commented: “We will continue to strengthen our market position as part of the EVAGO Group. The event infrastructure market is growing and is full of opportunities, so I am confident future investments will allow our research and development department to continue to develop our product range to take advantages of those opportunities. Our customers and employees will benefit from the fact that Mojo Barriers is now part of a larger group of companies.”

Mojo Barriers announces Indonesian distributor

Mojo Barriers has announced a new distribution partner in Indonesia following an increase in music events and tours to the region.

In partnership with the Australian office of Mojo Barriers, event company Nada Promotama has become the company’s representative in Indonesia.

Within the first year of the partnership, Mojo Barriers’ equipment will be used in more than 30 local and international festivals in the country.

Craig Edwards, general manager of Mojo Barriers Australia, commented: “After making an entry into Malaysia and Singapore and setting up distributors in these regions we started getting enquiries coming from Indonesia for the need for quality barriers.

“We see this relationship as being a long fruitful one in Indonesia, and it adds another country within South East Asia that we can now provide international production managers and local promoters the option of having Mojo Barriers on hand all year round.”

Emil Mahyudin, owner of Nada Promotama, added: “I wanted to raise standards in crowd safety and security at events within Indonesia, and ensure that every event I put on is as safe as it can be. Mojo Barriers is known for being the best at what they do and with their equipment and expertise we are now able to offer improved crowd safety within the region.”

Busy period on home soil for Mojo Barriers

Crowd barrier supplier Mojo Barriers has experienced a run of events based in the Netherlands, with three consecutive weekends of events.

One of the projects was King’s Day, a national holiday in The Netherlands celebrating the country’s monarch. Mojo Barriers had a presence at 16 events across seven cities, with the most popular being Amsterdam, where 750,000 visitors joined around 822,000 locals.

The following weekend was Liberation Day, which is a national celebration commemorating the liberation of The Netherlands in World War II. Mojo Barriers supplied 1,000 barriers, 26 gatekeeper and 90 line up gates across seven cities.

The third event was the Championship victory celebrations, for which Mojo Barriers supplied 900 barriers.

Mojo Barriers’ director Alex Borger said: “This was a logistically challenging run of projects. Beginning with King’s Day covering multiple urban event sites, we were always working to tight deadline to minimise disruption to normal city life. We have worked with the King’s Day organisers for many years, and that experience is valuable for everyone involved.”

The Big 200: Access celebrates its 200th issue

From a quarterly showcase to a monthly must-read, Access has changed a lot in 200 issues – and so has the events industry. Take a trip down memory lane.

How do you contextualise 200 issues? It’s a landmark number, a number that didn’t come easily or without its own winding journey. And just as Access has evolved and changed – from a newsletter-type paper to a feature-led magazine – so has the industry it covers.

When Access All Areas launched – first with a pilot issue in 1993, followed by a Spring edition in 1994 – the European Union was just a year old. The first-ever cover feature focused on that newly formed body and its potential effect on the UK and European events industry. Fast forward 23 years and we’re facing the potential exit of the UK from the EU and wondering what new challenges an isolated Britain may have to tackle – what a difference two decades can make.

It’s not the only change Access has been here for.

From the early ‘90s, when mega-festivals like Glastonbury and Reading dominated the scene, to the noughties and beyond, the live music and entertainment industry has evolved with the rise of boutique and niche festivals that feature everything from music and acrobatic performances, to highbrow theatre and top-tier comedy.

An out with the old, in with the new approach has dominated the past two decades, starting first with the election of New Labour to government, signalling an end of austerity and the start of an almost 10-year-long celebration of everything consumer. We were spending more, doing more, borrowing more and taking more – perhaps a little too much. From the hedonistic party and club scene emerged new genres of entertainment – acid house, raves, glow sticks, questionable dance moves based around Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box… shudder – that birthed a new demand for different types of music events. Some of today’s biggest festivals like We Are FSTVL, Beat Herder, Creamfields and SW4 can directly trace their roots back to the explosion of ‘90s dance music.

And who in those days knew that the Blur vs Oasis uber-rivalry would eventually fizzle out, with both bands if not mellowing then at least settling into ‘cool dad’ territory, and Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn playing gigs and festivals like Latitude and Barclaycard British Summer Time with nary a naked groupie in sight.

We’ve also watched the evolution of feminism and gender equality. The 14, 15 and 16-year olds who listened to The Spice Girls’ pop-infused battle cry of ‘Girl Power’ are now grown up, helping shape the events industry and beyond. From Beyoncé performing in front of a giant screen with the word ‘feminist’ blazing behind her, to the open discussion around preventing sexual violence at festivals, to the rise of important voices like Attitude is Everything’s Suzanne Bull and Zibrant’s Fay Sharpe, there are issues that the events industry has bravely faced head on. Access is proud to have been there all along to help champion key issues and to have broken down barriers for the betterment of our industry.

The first issue of Access in Spring 1994

The first issue of Access in Spring 1994

Access was also around to see the launch of London’s Millennium Dome, that supposedly ill-thought government over-spend, a signal of the trouble ahead for Tony Blair and his New Labour. While we watched Labour devolve into in-fighting and leader quarrels, an American billionaire took over the Dome, renaming it The O2, transforming it over the past 15 years into what is now the most well- attended music venue in the world, surpassing even New York City’s Madison Square Garden, and pouring money into the UK’s economy.

Consumerism gets a bad rap most of the time – but The O2 stands by the Thames as one of its greatest triumphs.

The UK has become a major player on the events stage. It would be remiss of Access not to mention London 2012. The elation in 2005 when the host city was announced, that feeling of pride in both our capital and our country, buoyed us through the immediate tragedy of the 7/7 terrorist attacks on London. We, as a proud nation and industry, came back stronger and together in celebration. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games rejuvenated our industry, which had been wounded by the 2008 financial crisis, and left a lasting economic legacy in both cities.

Yes, 200 issues is difficult to put in context. So many things have happened in the 23 years since we started – remember ‘Gangnam Style’? Remember how angry we all were about Jay Z playing Glastonbury? It’s impossible to talk about them all. Luckily, Access has been there through everything, and we have the magazines to prove it.

Thank you for reading and supporting our magazine – we can’t wait to see what the next 200 holds.

See part 2 of this feature here.

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Access All Areas

Mojo Barriers talks safety training

Kevin Thorborn: UK manager, Mojo Barriers

What aspects of crowd safety are often overlooked?

For many festival organisers, choosing the right products for your event is often a minefield and in many cases the humble crowd barrier is often overlooked. An understanding of when a pedestrian barrier or mesh fencing is not suitable and a more robust crowd barrier is required is vital to the safety of an event. Organisers may not be aware that the capacity, audience demographic, music genre, performance schedule, the culture, site topography and the ground type are all factors that should be considered with regards to their impact on the design and layout of the barriers.

We work closely with clients to analyse these specifics and design a barrier system that is best suited for that event. Understanding all of these variables allows us to ensure wherever a barrier is installed, it offers maximum protection. Planning for what kind of pressures the barrier will encounter can help avoid installing a greater risk than the ones you are trying to prevent.

Is there adequate training in health and safety in the industry?

There is a much wider range of training available now – from fork lift driving and manual lifting to IOSH and specialist degrees. There are plenty of easily available opportunities to help further capabilities.

Any challenges in 2015 and beyond you forsee?

Tight production budgets can lead to people cutting corners or being under pressure to dry hire rather than go for a full service model – so we always try to at least give some advice of barrier configuration and ideally have a team to install on site, so that barriers are installed correctly.

As there are a lot of new entrants into the outdoor event and festival market it’s important that we reach these people to share our knowledge and help them produce safe events. There are still some old barriers in the market and it’s hard to distinguish if the individual procuring the barriers knows whether they have been properly tested and if they are fit for purpose.

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Mojo Barriers supplies 1,300+ metres of barriers to V Fest

This year saw the 14th anniversary of Mojo Barriers’ continued work at both V Festival sites. The festival, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, took place last weekend (22-23 August).

As one of Mojo Barriers’ largest annual events, V Festival organisers entrusted them with supplying over 700m of stage barrier to ensure crowd safety around every stage at the Chelmsford venue, including barrier protection around sponsor areas. In addition to the stock inventory supplied to the southern venue, 250m of bar barriers were also provided to both V Festival venues, constructing public concessions such as food, drink and other retail outlets.

Mojo Barriers also supplied 128m of stage barriers to control large crowd pressures around stage 1 and two at Staffordshires’ Weston Park location.

“We enjoy a great relationship with Simon Forshaw and the management team at V Festival, who have always shared our passion t create safe festival sites,” said Mojo Barriers UK’s Kevin Thorborn. “Their site layouts don’t require complex barrio configurations given their audiences, but it’s never taken for granted and we consider each stage every year.

“We have a dedicated V Festival team of six staff responsible for the smooth installation of barriers at both venues, bolstered with another four staff to ensure a rapid load out of all kit earmarked for the next event in our busy summer events calendar.”

This year the festival saw headline acts such as Kasabian, Calvin Harris, Olly Murs, Stereophonics, Nero and Paloma Faith. Across the same weekend, Mojo Barriers’ European offering supplied crowd safety barriers for Belgium’s Pukkelpop alternative music festival and Lowlands festival in the Netherlands.

BoomTown appoints Mojo Barriers

Mojo Barriers has secured a contract with independent festival BoomTown Fair, which takes place 13-16 August.

BoomTown Fair has called upon Mojo Barriers to design and deliver its stage barriers for this year’s festival, which will take place at Matterley Estate in Hampshire.

Mojo Barriers, which recently supplied AC/DC’s tour, will supply 450 metres of stage barrier, 200 metres of bar barrier and 13 line-up gates across the festival site.

Set in its own unique, fantasy festival town, Boomtown features nine different districts with winding streets and a host of bespoke entertainment venues, including a casino, hotel, hairdressers and roller disco.

BoomTown Fair is now in its 7th year and this year will witness performances from Mungos Hi-fi, John Butler Trio, Dreadzone and hundreds of artists across 22 stages, including a new main stage.

“There is a lot of original thinking going on within the independent festival scene and we’re excited to be working alongside BoomTown Fair, which is widely renowned for its unique character,” Mojo Barriers’ UK manager Kevin Thorborn said. “Moving away from the traditional five or six stage festival format, with its own crowd dynamics within a temporary town setting and we have worked with the organisers to identify the ‘hotspots’ to ensure festival-goers are kept safe, deploying crowd barriers where densities are at their highest.”

Mojo Barriers has reported an increase in work with independents in 2015, after it secured new contracts with 51st State, Found Festival and Glastonbudget Festival.

Mojo Barriers supplies AC/DC World Tour

Mojo Barriers Opie (L) Cees(R) ACDC Paris May 2015 (7 of 26) Mojo Barriers ACDC Paris May 2015 (9 of 26)

Mojo Barriers has supplied 218 metres of black aluminium touring barrier for AC/DC’s 2015/16 World Tour.

AC/DC took to the road in May 2015 with their ‘Rock or Bust’ tour, spanning Europe before heading on to Australia and North America later in the year.

The band’s production manager, Dale Skjerseth (aka ‘Opie’) said: “Having used Mojo on many previous tours we all know their system, so our own crew can assemble it without the need for a Mojo supervisor to come on tour.

“AC/DC have sold over 1.7 million tickets in Europe alone, it’s all sold out venues and they are lively audiences, so we take our responsibility for their safety, along with that of the bands, crew and equipment very seriously.”

Mojo’s project manager Stanley Jilesen consulted with Opie to design the configuration for the front of stage barrier, following the contours of the stage and spanning the width of the stadium pitches.

The additional touring barriers surround the two front-of-house mixing positions. At all of the European stadium shows the local promoters have then brought in additional Mojo Barriers for use as secondary barriers, as Mojo Barriers’ CEO Cees Muurling explains:

“Most venues in Europe are hiring in additional secondary barrier to allow for effective control of the crowd on the pitch with a secondary line and barriers around pa delay towers. We can support that requirement for stage barriers (including curves and gates), plastic bar barriers and trained supervisors anywhere across the three continents from our local offices or network of distributors. This highlights the value of our global network.”