Pollstar & VenuesNow 2021 Live Event Security Hub

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The coronavirus pandemic has added new layers to the challenge of securing venues and events, but it’s not the only concern keeping industry professionals up at night as more traditional threats remain and bad actors have adapted tactics to the degree that even low-tech, lone-wolf attacks can achieve deadly and economically devastating results. 

Defining the job as everything from risk management, venue strategy, artist transport and safety, minimizing lawsuits, team integration to “making sure the doors get open, and people get in safely,” Bailey has watched the touring/artist security industry grow, evolve and reach new heights. The go-to guy for Foo Fighters, Ziggy Marley and Kenny Chesney, his career is impressive.

The pandemic pushed the NFL to introduce new technologies for health and safety protocols at a high cost, but the additional protection will save money in the long run for teams and venues, said Cathy Lanier, the league’s senior vice president and chief security officer.

There’s been a rush of products and services aimed at addressing venue security, health and safety in the age of COVID-19. The devices present challenges for venue managers that must separate the wheat of effective technology from the chaff of snake oil solutions that are untested and unlikely to perform as advertised, say experts in the field.
Five security questions to seven security pros who include: Dan Donovan, Founder and Managing Partner Stratoscope; Jeffrey Friedman, CEO, Building Intelligence; Alan Gelfand, CEO and Founder, Fair Ticket Solutions; Mark Herrera, Director of Education and Life Safety,  International Association of Venue Managers; Jerome Pickett, SVP and GM, Sports & Entertainment Clear; Jeff Spoerndle, Vice President, Best; and Bill Squires, MetLife Stadium Operations Consultant, New York Giants.

Damon Barna is the kind of person you want on your team. With 21 years under his belt working for Minneapolis’ famed First Avenue Productions (which includes the 7th St Entry, the Turf Club, the Fine Line, The Fitzgerald Theater, the First Avenue Mainroom, and the Palace Theatre), the Director of Operations can tell a fake driver’s license by fonts, de-escalate violent situations without raising a fist and run point on socially distanced shows. Here, in his own words, Barna breaks down a show from the perspectives of fan, artist and staff, explains why he eschews the term “security” and how he handles “sandbox fights.”

As in every other aspect of the live business, much is uncertain in live event security space. However, unlike other sectors, much of the weight of that uncertainty is borne by security, which is tasked with keeping artists, patrons and staff safe. “It comes down to time,” says Kenneth Schneider, CEO of E-1 Solutions. “You need time to plan, you can’t be rushed anymore. If someone calls and says three weeks from now we’ve got an event and need 75 officers, that was easy. Now, not so easy. Now you have to look at the landscape of where you’re putting on this production, what it’s needs are, the flow of traffic, permits, many things.”

Live Event Security Industry Directory