After Las Vegas, Concert Security is Now into Nightmare Territory

With reports that Vegas psycho Stephen Paddock scouted a couple of other music events before he opened fire on the 22,000 souls at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, concert security experts have to figure out how to defend against snipers from above. But how? NRP has this story.

Tens of thousands of people will gather this weekend for the Austin City Limits Festival, a two-week music festival about a mile from downtown Austin.

“It’s gonna be the safest part of the city to be in during both weekends, just because of the sheer number of officers that will be present,” said Brian Manley, the chief of the Austin Police Department, during a press conference this week. Manley said the department will have officers inside and outside the festival, with heightened attention to threats from outside the gates.

“We want folks to come out, we want you to enjoy yourself,” he said. But he also warned that “we live in a world now where you cannot protect against every single threat.”

That was made all too clear to police in Austin and across the country on Sunday night, when the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history left 58 people dead and close to 500 injured at a country music festival in Las Vegas. It was the just latest assault on a music venue, after the mass shooting at the Bataclan theater in Paris in 2015, and the suicide bombing outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester earlier this year.

The Las Vegas shooting is a chilling reminder that big public concerts remain a soft target. And the industry is still grappling with what lessons it should draw from the massacre.

Keep reading.

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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