June 12, 2016 – The New World
Those who know me best can say that 2016 has been the year of my soapbox, venue security. Last November after the Bataclan attack in Paris I grew enraged at the lack of response from American venues to an obvious shortcoming. Since then I’ve been working in fits and starts to do my own feature piece in response. It continues to remain unwritten.
On Saturday June 11 I was at a low key show to see a singer songwriter I adore for both her comedy and songwriting and a soul band I’d never seen. When I woke up the next morning it was to a new world. You did too. The attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando should send shockwaves through the entertainment industry. It was preceded by the murder of Christina Grimmie. It should make venue owners small & large rethink how they protect their staff and patrons.
There are no clean clear answers on how to do this. I’m sorry there aren’t. Should every venue have a metal detector and armed security? Should venue staff be trained to deal with situations no normal person should ever think of? Should every artist now bring their own security to a venue? Will venue prices go up to match new concerns? Is gun control the answer? Are mental health screenings needed? I don’t know.
It is the responsibility of the press to start a conversation. We are supposed to make people think of what is out there. The press are not policy makers, artists, venue owners…but we bear a responsibility to seek out the truth to make a conversation. Since it is an election year in the US many press think this conversation should be ignored for other ones involving curses & bad hair.
You as a reader bear a responsibility to. Ask your artist. Ask your venue. Ask your political representative. What are they going to do to insure the events of June 11 are the exception not the rule? What are they going to do to protect your safety? We should never live in fear to an isolated event. We are living in fear because these events aren’t isolated anymore. We all bear a responsibility to ask questions and find answers.