Transport for one of the UK’s biggest festivals

FTS successfully transferred more than 20,000 music fans via 500 bus journeys

The challenge

Leeds Festival is one of the U.K’s biggest music occasions attracting over 90,000 spectators to Bramham Park.

The 2018 event took place over the August Bank Holiday weekend and First Travel Solutions (FTS) were commissioned to devise and deliver a transport plan that carried attendees to and from the centre of Leeds to the festival site.

The transport operation ran from Wednesday 22nd to Monday 27th August and involved providing travel for campers (and all their equipment and supplies) and day trippers. 

The solution

FTS have supported this massive event for several years and used their experience and expertise to deliver a comprehensive travel solution that was much more than the standard shuttle service.

Recognising the complexities of moving tens of thousands of festival goers, planning for the event started months in advance and involved the whole of the FTS team.

Many attendees initially travel by rail into Leeds city centre. The team identified suitable pick up and drop off points that were within easy reach of the station and allowed for time saving city centre ingress and egress.

On street directions to the pickup site were provided and temporary queuing systems and ticket offices implemented.

On the ground co-ordinators were in constant radio contact with the staging site for the buses and were able to call in the fleet as and when needed.

FTS decided that double decked buses were the best option for the shuttle service as the bottom deck could be use for bags and equipment and greater capacity provided for those visiting on day passes.

Uniquely an arrangement was agreed with a local supermarket close to the site that allowed festival goers to use a shuttle service to and from the store to fill up on supplies and use the toilet and washing facilities. Again, a queuing system was implemented.

Whilst the buses didn’t operate to a timetable there was an expectation that waiting times to and from the site should be as short as possible. FTS provided enhanced fleet numbers to support this and delivered on the need to clear the site’s temporary bus station no later than two hours after the final act.

Drivers are the very frontline of the service provided and additional training was implemented to ensure smooth operation. This included bespoke driver manuals including primary and diversionary route maps with all routes pre-planned recognising that double decker buses were in operation.

The result

Over the course of six days, FTS successfully transferred more than 20,000 music fans via 500 bus journeys. 

The transport plan had to be fluid as movement to and from the festival site had peaks and troughs throughout the period of operation.

Cash and credit card payment systems were successfully delivered and all the client’s expectations around transport were achieved.

This was the third year of the contract with the event organisers and FTS are looking forward to supporting Leeds Festival in 2019.