Security is Everyone’s Concern…. but whose responsibility?
We have all watched the news lately and thought, how could that have happened? We assume that we go to a concert or show and we are safe. We assume as musicians that the venue will have that covered. Whose responsibility is it to make sure we can safely enjoy a show? The recent attacks in Manchester and London have shown us that we can never be too safe. The prevalence of firearms and weapons at public venues and tourist sites is alarming and more of a regular occurrence these days. It is undeniable that public venues have a duty to care for their patrons and provide safety from the gun-wielding assassin bent on mass casualties. Though it is their duty, is it reasonable to say it is also their responsibility?
It is estimated that installing and maintaining metal detectors and hiring security guards could cost individual theatres as much as $1 million a year. The long lines that this would cause could also create vulnerable targets as people wait for their turn to enter a venue. It is indeed possible to increase and improve security at these venues, generally and in specific cases. There should be a vulnerability assessment of theater practices, admission, crowd management, structural inhibitors, potential for breach and identify potential weaknesses in the measures used for patrons to enter and use the venue. As a band, or a theatre what can you do to make sure that these measures are taken?
As a band, there are options in all contracts to add any features or requests that you make to a venue or promoter in order to perform at any given venue. Many smaller bands don’t have the option to pay for their own security and will ultimately place the responsibility onto the venue or promoter to provide or outline their safety measures. It is in the best interest of the venue to provide such measures to avoid costly litigation should anyone be hurt. Though this is a first step, we have to consider that some venues or promoters will not be amenable to these changes. The right business manager can help determine how to best add security expenses to your budget as well as negotiate any security contracts with venues to share costs or with vendors to save on costs and negotiate rates.
As a theatre venue, there are options in determining the best security measures that can be taken in order to ensure safety for the patrons and the entertainment. There are many measures that can be taken from local police to a professional security team on staff or a security company on a contract basis. They should have a vulnerability assessment done to find out where their weaknesses are, get educated on the best course of action, and the most cost-effective way to secure their venue.