Should festivals up security measures after recent attacks?
With the recent attack in Las Vegas, future security precautions are an issue that will be the central focus of music festivals and events moving forward. Every major event has strict security measures in place to prevent weapons of any sort of dangerous objects or substances from entering the festival grounds or venue. Although there may be police officers and security guards present in large numbers at venues, bars, and other public events to ensure the event(s) proceed safely, it's not a 100% preventative measure.
Gun control has certainly been a hot discussion topic amongst citizens and lawmakers, but despite these unfortunate tragedies there is little being done to prevent future attacks. If we consider the fact that gun control laws are unlikely to change in the United States' current political climate, what can (or should) these venues, festivals, or events do to further enhance the security and safety of these festivals and concerts?
Last year, on June 12th, 2016, Orlando, Florida experienced what would be the worse mass shooting in U.S. history, killing 49 innocent people and injuring 58. Most recently, on October 1st, 2017, Las Vegas, Nevada experienced yet another mass shooting, killing 59 innocent festival goers and injuring more than 500. The gunman checked into the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Thursday evening, three days prior to the shooting. On Sunday, October 1st, he opened fire on a crowd of 22,000+ people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival from his 32nd floor room. The abhorrent attack on innocent human life was completely unpredictable. And it couldn't have been prevented.
We constantly ask ourselves "Why?" when horrendous acts like these occur. Friends, family members, and strangers attend these events to let loose and throw their troubles aside for a singular communion with one of the few positive forces still present in our society: music. The attack on Route 91 Harvest Festival brings us a troubling new thought that is sure to be on many festival's planers minds. Is there anyway to guarantee safety at a city music festival?
Security measures are in place to prevent weapons of any sort from entering the festival grounds or venue. However, with festivals like Route 91 Harvest Festival, Ultra Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Movement, CRSSD, and more all being hosted in the heart of a major cities, will venue locations need to change? Convenience is a major commodity for these events, as hotels, restaurants, medical centers, and any other location that may become a necessity is never too far away. However, as the detestable actions of shooter Stephen Paddock demonstrate, any skyscraper can quickly become the location of a sniper tower.
It's incredibly sad that we even have to think about other people committing such a heinous act, but the recent Las Vegas tragedy brings a chilling realization that the actions of one person can have a devastating effect on the safety and well-being of thousands of innocent lives. As festival season comes to a close, should downtown events like Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida undergo the cumbersome feat of changing venues? No doubt the tragedy at Route 91 Festival is a threat to the way we experience music.
Music is cause for celebration. It is the source for many of our purest moments of joy, freedom, and community. At a time when the state of the nation is precariously teetering across a hateful divide, music is a unifying force. Allowing immoral individuals who don't value human life to continue to attack these places of emotional refuge and sanctuary is a disservice to the families, friends, and loved ones whose lives have tragically been lost.
Stop the hate.