Through The Barricades

Birmingham’s LG Arena is the first in the UK to usher in its audiences through state of the art access control, complementing the £29 million refurbishment the venue underwent last year.

Twenty automated turnstiles, situated at the main entrance of the building, guide customers into the unique pre- and post-show zone, forumLIVE. There are two additional entry points for disabled visitors at each end of the bank of turnstiles.

The turnstiles are directly integrated in the Audience-View Ticketing software, used by the venue box office, The Ticket Factory.

The bar code readers within each turnstile can validate a ticket in real time, ensuring customers can buy a ticket at The Ticket Factory and have it validated at the turnstile seconds later.

The access control system also authorises standard and custom souvenir tickets as well as bar-coded e-tickets, which customers print themselves at home.

The new technology will also be able to handle 2D, m-ticket (mobile ticket technologies) and smartcards in the future.

With a successful scan, a beep can be heard and a green light appears, indicating to the customer that the ticket has been authorised and entry can be gained by pushing the turnstile bar.

If a ticket has already been used or if the ticket is for a different performance, a red light shows and access is denied. There is also a set of lights on the inner side of the turnstiles to inform the venue’s stewards.

The stainless steel turnstiles are also integrated with the arena’s fire alarm system and automatically drop in the event of an emergency evacuation.

LG Arena general manager Guy Dunstan says the system has worked seamlessly with thousands of people coming to the venue.

During the recent “X Factor” concerts, the barrier system coped with 12,800 people per night and at its busiest was dealing with 215 people per minute.