The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris shocked the world. The worst of the atrocities occurred at the French capital’s Le Bataclan venue during a live concert performed by the Eagles of Death Metal, where 89 people were killed.
The Californian band was performing to a capacity crowd of 1500 when the terrorists wearing the suicide belts took people hostage and fired shots. Among the dead at the venue were Nick Alexander, who had been selling the merchandise for the band, Mercury Records’ international product manager Thomas Ayad and French rock journalist William B Decherf.
So what would be the future of live music while we mourned for the dead? What can be done to make you, the fans, feel safe and unthreatened? Will the gig-going experience ever be the same again? Here are the answers from an array of industry experts-artists, journalists and security men.
How can venues take measures or actions to minimize such tragedies in the future?
Andy Copping (promoter, Live Nation):”What can a security guard do in the face of a terrorist holding an AK47? It goes a lot deeper than just ‘security’. This is a world problem, not a gig problem.”
Jon Vyner (promoter of Tidal Concerts and London’s The Underworld):”I don’t think there’s much we can do, really. Aside from posting fully armed guards inside and outsides the venue – and that would only serve to spread the fear.”
Phil Campbell (singer, The Temperance Movement):”I’ve seen gig security as tight as you like. Vigilance is the key. But no venue can be guaranteed 100 percent safe under any circumstance.
How will gig security be affected?
Chris Alexander (independent promoter at the Leamington Spa Assembly; former promoter at the London Astoria):” There are existing laws concerning security at gigs. You need a certain amount of operatives per member of the public, and they must be positioned in certain points in the hall. Hiring more security people would increase ticket prices – but you would need quite a large number of them to make a difference.”
Simon Battersby (director, Showsec Security):”All we can ask is that everyone if vigilant – not just security stuff but venue employees and concertgoers.
Joe Elliott (Def Leppard):”There are bag searches and random pat-downs already in place. Still, I think that venues will tighten up procedures. Unless there’s a ruling from the Government that every person will have to be searched before they go in, I can’t see any additional costs being put on the ticket price.”
How Long will this last?
Campell:”People are going to be scared for a while, but hopefully things will return to normal before too long.”
Elliot:”Once it’s calmed down, we can all at least try to go back to a normal life. The relatives of those poor people who got killed at the Bataclan can’t – but I believe that incident was random and nothing to do with the band themselves.
Vyner:”We have to try and carry on as normal. If people are afraid of an attack like this, them everyone will just stay at home and the whole economy will collapse.”
Copping:”I’m sure some fans will feel a little reticent. I also think parents of younger concertgoers might be more wary. But where do you draw the line? We have to carry on.”
Alexander:”Rock fans stand together, it’s like being part of a family. People will stand shoulder-to-shoulder. The terrorists won’t take away our music.”
More news coming up next week!