Concert-Goers Should Prepare for More Security Outside of Venues
The terrorist attack targeted at an Ariana Grande show Monday night killed 22 attendees and left both Manchester, and the world, in shock. Normally a joyous escape, terrorism has now turned concerts into another place where attendees must fear for their safety.
With security measures now beefing up both in and outside concert venues, how much freedom are fans willing to sacrifice in order to stay safe at these events? And do metal detectors and more rigorous searches actually do anything to stop these attacks?
It seems like just yesterday when ISIS-affiliates opened fire at the Bataclan in Paris at an Eagles of Death Metal show, killing 89 people. Though not linked to international terrorism, last May one person was killed and three were wounded before a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza in NYC. And who can forget the heinous shooting at Pulse Orlando last June, an act of terror that ended in 50 nightclub-goers killed.
What the aforementioned venues all have in common is their size. While a large-scale arena like Madison Square Garden can afford metal detectors, the smaller clubs are less likely to shell out the money required for the devices. Los Angeles entertainment attorney and crisis manager, Ed McPherson, told USA Today: “It’s expensive and may be cost-prohibitive for some venues, but the cost of not having [metal detectors] is obvious.”
But if big venues are all equipped with metal detectors these days, how did the attack on Ariana Grande’s concert–held at UK’s Manchester Arena which holds around 21,000 people–happen? That’s where things get even scarier.
The explosion occurred as the concert was finishing, around 10:35pm local time. But the attack didn’t happen within the actual concert area, it happened in the foyer of the venue that fans walk through to get to the Victoria railway station. It seems as though despite the increase of internal concert security, terrorists are now finding ways to do damage to the outside perimeters.
Chris Robinette, CEO of Prevent Advisors (a security and counterterrorism advisory firm), told USA Today: “A lot of the mechanisms and policies and procedures we have today, such as metal detection, are inwardly focused — protecting inside the venue… We need to start reorienting our security and safety procedures, we call it ‘expanding perimeters,’ to adapt to new threats. We have to reallocate our focus and energy on the perimeters and peripheries of buildings.”
With the Department of Homeland Security stating that the U.S. public may experience increased security in and around public places and events, the summer music season that normally brings so much joy may now carry an undertone of fear and rigidity.