Security Procedures at a Florida Show Festival’s Location Aids Safety and Security

April 2024, by By Kasi Bryan, Marilyn Grigsby, & Steve Izzo; Space Coast Art Festival

Security is managed in a variety of ways during the Space Coast Art Festival. Photo courtesy of Space Coast Art Festival 

Safety and security are considerations throughout our planning process and begin with our festival location in an upscale, outdoor mall in Viera, Florida. 

The mall has an internal security department that is aware of and involved in planning our event. It begins with cordoning off the event location prior to the artists arriving and maintaining a protective perimeter throughout the show. 

Mall security is responsible for daytime safety and security throughout the entire mall area and is available as needed by our festival officers. While the mall has the overnight responsibility for security in general, we contract with off-duty police officers to provide dedicated, on-site security for the event area and artist booths. 

The contracted period for this dedicated security is 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings when the artists’ work is on-site. During the hours before 9 p.m. and after 7 a.m. — when artists are not available — event volunteers patrol the grounds to provide a visible presence and can alert mall or public safety officers as needed. 

Our location’s design also has a built-in safety and security aspect. Due to the limited space available in the mall, our layout is compact — therefore making it easy to maintain visual security for all artist displays. 

Provided by professionals, safety and security is their primary focus. Our location in a normally busy outdoor mall means parking and traffic control are naturally managed by the design of the mall and its security officials. 

A few event volunteers are available on setup day to direct artists to their assigned booths. They may provide limited loading assistance. 

During the event, volunteers are assigned to assist artists. This includes routinely walking the artist booth area to see if there are any needs. Booth sitting is among the tasks — providing a safe presence in artists’ booths if they need to step away. 

Upon confirmation of participation, artists receive an information package with key information, including about security. We greet each artist on arrival and answer any questions at that time. 

Recommendations for Artists 

Our first suggestion is to remove highly valuable items overnight — if possible — to either their locked vehicle or hotel room. We know all pieces are valuable to artists. Let us know if there are special concerns, so we may educate and inform the overnight security. 

During the show, we ask artists to be aware of and inform festival officers when concerned about behavior or if they have questions so we can work with the appropriate mall or public safety officials. 

The festival’s event insurance policy is a General Commercial Liability Policy that includes Damage to Premise Rented; Medical Expense; Personal and Advertising Injury; and Products/Completed Operations Aggregate. These provisions protect our organization and the location owners and operators. It is up to artists to provide insurance for their personal property, including their artwork. 

We suggest artists research and evaluate digital security for electronic images of their creative work placed online. This is an emerging and dynamic environment with rapidly changing technology and legal frameworks.