I Hate We Have to Ask This Question: How Do We Keep Clubs and Music Venues Safer?

How many times have you been to a place of music only to have a pat-down, your bags searched and a walk through a metal detector? In the old days, security was more concerned with people smuggling in a flask of booze or (believe it or not) a camera. Now, though, the concern is with weapons. Not so much in Canada, but in the wake of the Orlando shooting, there’s more talk about heightened security. From Pitchfork:

On the morning of June 13, Brooklyn music promoter Todd Patrick—better known as Todd P—was reconsidering his views on event security. “I’m not a big fan of security pat-downs at shows at all,” wrote the founder of the beloved, shuttered DIY venue 285 Kent in aFacebook post, “but am considering them [and] bag checks going forward.” The post’s dozens of responses, some torn but many favoring the invasive proposal, signaled our less innocent times.

The night before, a gunman had attacked Pulse, a gay dance club in Orlando, killing 49 people in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. This horrific tragedy has served as a crushing reminder of the ongoing struggle for LGBT rights, and it has also rekindled debate over the nation’s brutal and atavistic gun laws. And in a secondary way, the massacre—like the indiscriminate killing at the Bataclan in Paris last November—has also cast a new spotlight on the issue of safety at clubs and venues.

Concerts and dance parties are sacred ground for many. How can people with assault weapons, and the will to use them, be kept out? And at what cost to personal freedom, which music at its best also embodies and celebrates?

Keep reading. This is important stuff.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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