AP Security in the swing with JLS
Proving that contestants on TV's The X Factor don't need to win the show to have a successful career, the popular Jack the Lad Swing foursome followed last year's gigs by playing major shows at three football grounds - Hull KC Stadium, MK Dons Stadium and Carrow Road, the home of Norwich City - plus Lydiard Park in Swindon and the Matterley Bowl, near Winchester.
Manning the backstage and pit areas, AP's staff also passed on their knowledge and experience gained from the 2010 shows to the management at each venue.
"We worked closely with the clubs' stewards and stadium management, who are much more used to football crowds than screaming JLS Fans," says John Phillips, AP's national sales manager, who ran the company's operations at the Norwich and Milton Keynes shows. "One of the main issues was access from the dressing rooms to stage. Walking the stars around the concourse is not an easy task when you have 20,000 fans wanting to get close to them.
"Building a good relationship with the band's personal security was very important, as was one with the local police to ensure that we got the band away from the stadiums quickly and safely."
With AP northern regional manager Simon Miller in charge of company operations at the Hull show and southern operations manager Chris Hollands at Lydiard Park and the Matterley Bowl, much attention was also focused on the pit area, ensuring that the enthusiastic teenagers by the barrier were kept safe.
"It required 30 staff in the pit and, as there was a thrust stage, two pit supervisors were needed, one each for stage left and stage right," says Phillips. "The experience gained in 2010 definitely helped for the smooth running of our operation and we were very happy to help the staff at the venues, none of which had played host to JLS before."