The Hanse Sail in Rostock is one of the largest conventions of traditional sailors and museum ships worldwide.

Photo: Stefan Leitmannslehner, Qounts,

The festival takes place every year since 1991 on the second weekend of August in the area of the Rostock city harbor.

Visitors have the unique opportunity to experience the traditional seafaring on ships first-hand, becoming sailors themselves. But also on land there are numerous stages, market stalls and rides. The festival is visited by approximately one million people annually.


Thanks to the simulation we could show that sometimes less is more.

Analysis and optimization of escaping routes

With the help of our simulation, our client ABS Alarm- Bewachungs- und Sicherheitsdienst GmbH wanted to prove and optimize the evacuation concept. The following questions arised:

  • How long will the evacuation of the festival area take?
  • Is there a congestion, and if so, where?
  • How long does the congestion last?
  • What measures would help to accelerate the evacuation?

In addition to a detailed map, which specifies the ways and areas for stalls, rides and fairground people, we also had a high-resolution aerial view of just short before Hanse Sail 2015 available.

Simulation based on aerial view: With and without improvements

Comparison of the geometry plan with and without measures. *S3* to *S7* are the existing escape routes, *S4a* and *S4b* are the newly planned ones. The aerial view included all stalls and fairground which allowed us a very exciting comparison between the must- and the actual geometry.

Unexpected, but very gratifying: A complete evacuation with the real geometry is even 8% faster than with the planned geometry, because an important exit was in fact wider than in the plan.

In order to make reliable predictions, good input data for simulations are essential.

Therefore we are very glad that our partner Quounts realized a visitor count for the Hanse Sail. There is no entrance control at the festival so thanks Qounts for very good input data regarding the number of visitors!

Results of the simulation

Iterative and in collaboration with the ABS Alarm- Bewachungs- und Sicherheitsdienst GmbH and Qounts we tested different measures and accelerated the complete evacuation depending on the scenario by up to 25%.


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Two of the various measures that we have reviewed achieved the greatest improvement. The first was, hardly surprising - two additional emergency exits near a big stage.

The second measure was not intuitive and thereby shows particularly well, what simulations are able to achieve:

A single escape route, with its 3 meters still too narrow, has led to a large tailback.

Sometimes less is more

The removal of this escape route solved the tailback and the evacuation greatly accelerated! At this example you can clearly recognize that even seemingly simple cases can hold surprises. Additional emergency exits in some cases lead to a tailback and thus block larger areas instead of relieving other ways.

Fact Sheet

Customer: ABS Sicherheitsdienst GmbH
Task: Evacuation simulation
Result: Optimization of escape routes.

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