What to expect


Full Registered User
Hi All
i have Just applied for my Sia badge and i just wanted to ask anyone with experience if they wouldn't mind share it .

basically a couple of questions

Where are good places to look for event security work in Manchester and because events are all over the place would that mean if a company is based in Manchester but gets a contract in say Liverpool for a festival then we would travel down if so is that together or your require to make you own way there ??

What is the average rate of pay and average amount of hours for a newbie and times of the days ?? what could someone that works there way up achieve further down the line ??? do you have to be self employed ?

What will a typical shift involve and what type of things happen on a bad shift ??

sorry about all the questions i dont know anybody that works in event security
thank you to anyone that takes the time to reply much appreciated
Wow, you are going to meet so many hot chicks that will do anything to sleep with you. When you bust people you will get to take their money because cops will take your story over theirs. There is tons of work out there for you, so much to the point that you can set your own prices. At the end of it all the SIA will thank you for your service.


Just messing with you, I do not know sh*t about that field, the SIA or even the UK
The work is shite..

The pay , as well.

Sometimes you will have to pay from your own pocket to get to the said venue..

You will not get many hours per week unless you are extremely lucky..

Everything that can happen it will actually happen on a bad shift ,starting with crap weather drunk idiots refusing to be searched, crazy drunk ugly bitches drooling all over you (It's only Gok Wanker's fault because he keeps on telling them they not fat fkucks but "curvalicious")...

Did i mentioned Bitch Fits?.. You will see that a lot..

Fights... Oh yeah.. In case you have not realized IT IS ALWAYS "PICK ON THE BOUNCER" DAY..

I'll stop here, because i know you won't understand even half of it..

You applied for a bloody SIA licence meaning you had to take one of those mikey mouse courses..

What surprises me is that you did not remember anything they told you on the course about shit that can go wrong..

Either that or the course was even crapier than i thought..

Kind Regards
Last edited:
Shifts, usually anything from 8 to 24, but a shift can get cut short if the even isn't getting as many people as they thought.
Weather blazing sun all days and near freezing at night, even in summer. Or it could chuck it down for the entire shift (even in summer). You could be stood in inches of water of mud, your campsite might be a quagmire. The toilets could be overflowing and have not been emptied in days.
You could have a position where you don't see anyone at all for hours on end, you could be working flat out. If you're lucky you'll get to sit down for 15 mins to have lunch. If you're on position by yourself you may have to wait hours to go for a pee if no-one is available to cover for you.
Wages, anything from £6.50 to £10, but you'll be lucky to get more than £9. Working your way up? Maybe one day you might get to be a supervisor.
Sometime transport is put on from a main base, but most of the time you'll be paying your own way. Sometimes you get food provided free, sometimes its subsidised, sometimes you pay full whack or provide your own.
As for the punters, at festivals, expect anything, and I do mean anything. I've been at festivals with punks, new age travellers and the local Chief Constable and family there as a punter. Expect blokes in skirts, expect fancy dress, expect people wearing very little at all. Expect people off their head on drugs, expect people off their head because they haven't been taking the drugs they should have been taking. Expect found kids whose parents don't notice they're missing for hours or kids left in tents whilst their parents go off to enjoy themselves. At Solfest you can take an axe to chop firewood, at some other festivals you won't even be allowed a pocket knife.
As for the people you're working with, expect some people that are highly professional and can do every bit of the job very well, expect people who are only there because they are getting into the festival free and have no interest in working. Expect people that spend their entire time on their mobile updating their facebook status or whatever, people who think its acceptable to be listening to their iPod and people who think its fine to sleep on night shift because nothing is happening. Expect people who are annoyed that they're in a boring position because they're better than that and they should be doing the pit or backstage. Expect some people to walk off their position, especially if the weather turns bad.
Gorillanobaka1977 yes i did one of those course's a door supervisor one, and he went over different situations but more for the doors
i have many friends that work on the doors and its not something i really want to go into. and the course is rubbish your right they teach you how to pass the test and thats about it.

thank you very much littlewoman for taking the time to right its very informative its a little bit shocking i was working for a event staging company and that was £9 hr and u could work u way to £15 if ur a site manager and we was working at events all around with transport provided, and i was averaging 45 to 60 hours a week, its was good pay just hard work lifting heavy staging all the times, i always seen the event security and always though i wouldnt mind taking a bit less home for not having to lift this staging all the time as you can only do that for so long before you back gives out.

has anyone had any experience with g4s or showsec event security ?

i was thinking maybe a shop security or warehouse or parking maybe be better for me where you have a less pay but then you get your set 40hrs a week which is better when you have rent etc to pay and maybe working events weekends to make some extra money
And don't forget you have to buy ALL of your own kit...

-Black trousers and black combats.
-Black t-shirts-Polo and crew
-Comfortable and waterproof black boots-expect to spend a minimum of £100 for a good pair
-Good socks
-Light black jacket
-Heavy and waterproof black jacket
-Waterproof rain gear-again, buy the expensive stuff otherwise you will be wet, cold, miserable AND underpaid
-Comfortable underwear (you will chaff and it's horrible)
-A good quality earpiece-you will sometimes be offered one, but generally they are shite, AND filthy
-An armband license holder

A backpack for the following:
-Notepad and pen
-Hydration pack-for the reasons little woman mentioned above.
-Toilet paper (yes I know)
-Baby wipes
-Keeping your waterproofs in
-Food items-again for when you get abandoned on a post and forgotten about. Energy bars and fruit etc are good to have
-Aftersun-for the bits you miss when applying above
-Insect repellent, yes, there are mozzies in the UK and Ireland
-A book-for when you can get away with it
-Sticky plasters and blister plasters-you will need them
-Earplugs-for when you get stuck in front of a speaker for 12 hours

Then you will need
-A tent-again, buy cheap, get wet! And go at least 4 man for a bit of space to relax when your shift gets cancelled or shortened!
-A sleeping bag
-A ground mat, air mattress

Develop a thick skin and lose any ego you may have, otherwise you won't last pissing time!!
TMAC is pretty much spot on there.
Although most companies do provide T-Shirt, jacket and tabard as it is what identifies you as one of theirs. I would still take my own black waterproof even if they provide one, as what they provide will probably be poor. Also make sure you have warm under-layers as any jacket provided may be poor.
Some companies will limit the size of tent you have due to space confines on the field. A decent 3 man should be fine but make sure it has a porch and it is 2 skin. Also check the Hydrostatic Head (HH) it must be 3000 at least, but that isn't a guarantee of keeping dry because it only rates the fabric, not the tent itself. (Note that tents differ in size even if they both take the same number of people - the more serious types are designed for backpackers and you'll only get the stated numberer of people if they're really friendly). Put the tent up before you go to make sure all the bits are there and you know what you're doing and take some extra pegs in case some get nicked.
Sleeping bag should be at least 3 season.
Take bin bags - keep clothes and sleeping bag inside bin bags when you're out on shift. If you're standing in pouring rain, its nice to be sure that your sleeping bag and clothes are definitely going to be dry when you finally get back to your tent.