21 October, 2016
For the second year in a row, Barcelona’s City Council will automatically control capacity in one of the biggest events for children in the world, called “La Festa dels Súpers”. It takes place in “The Olympic Ring” this week-end, and it’s estimated to gather about 370.000 visitors.
The laws that regulate capacity control in Spain are different in each Autonomous Community. In Catalonia, the law 11/2009 was approved seven years ago and regulates events and recreational activities currently today, which specifies that some leisure venues and events will have to install automatic people counters in order to control occupancy. However, although the number of establishments and events that use them is increasing, there is no law that says it is mandatory. Specifically, in the decree 112/2010, which regulates the mentioned law, there is a transitory provision that indicates “all establishments that have the obligation to have an automatic capacity control system will have a three year dead-line, from the day the regulation of the system is published to install it and start using it”. It’s important to highlight that nowadays, there still is not a published regulation. In the Community of Valencia, the law is more advanced: since this past September, leisure venues and events with an allowed capacity of more than 2.000 people and some other extraordinary events are obliged to count attendees with automatic counters. The situation in the Canary Islands is similar to Catalonia, and the law regarding this matter in the other Communities is behind.
As me mentioned before, event organisers are increasingly opting to go a step ahead of the current regulation and one of them is Barcelona’s City Council, with which Counterest has collaborated multiple times. The Council used this system on the past edition of “La Festa dels Súpers” and on this year’s “Feria de Abril de Catalunya”.
Apart from providing more precision and therefore higher security, an automatic people counting system like Counterest’s, allows to program alarms in case occupancy is near the allowed capacity, and have access to historical data to know people’s flux during the days and hours of the event. Having all entries and exits registered allows to make predictions for future events and even identify external variables that affect attendance and the movement of people.
Then, if there exists a technological solution that strengthens security, why is its usage not prioritised by approving the specific regulations? Maybe, there is the idea that it’s a really expensive system, which is not the case. Alternative systems like counting people manually or with turnstiles are usually less economic as they are not as scalable. Then, it may be perceived as a less reliable solution, which is not fair as there are systems like ours that have a 99% precision, and this has been audited numerous times. Finally, it may also be thought that the solution is intrusive, but this couldn’t be further from the truth; people counters are installed on the ceiling next to the entries or inside tents when the event is outdoors, and they can’t identify any personal aspect of the people counted.
In conclusion, we don’t have any doubts that regulation will soon catch up with what is already happening in the leisure world. When this happens, attendees’ security will have gone a step further.
We were on the press! Check out these articles about the event:
La lluvia no frena la ‘Festa dels Súpers’ en Montjuïc, La Vanguardia, 22/10/2016
La firma Counterest és present a la Festa dels Súpers, El Punt Avui+, 23/10/2016