Will Montreal event venues increase security in the wake of Manchester attack?
Many Montreal music and festival promoters are on high alert after Monday’s attacks in Manchester. Despite safety concerns, Montreal’s mayor insists the city is safe and focused on prevention.
“Nobody can say that nothing will happen — I mean, it’s all over the place,” Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said. “We’re not waiting for the worst to happen, and that’s why we’re putting together a prevention plan.”
But many promoters remain on high alert amidst growing concerns over safety.
Popular local music festival POP Montreal uses more than 50 venues a year, and its operations director says police and firefighters always request extra security measures in the wake of terrorist attacks.
“Let’s say we have an outdoor event — they will ask for concrete [measures such as] blockades for cars, like random cars… could just run into people,” said POP Montreal’s director of operations, Eric Cazes. “When we have an event, it’s kind of our responsibility to bring in the extra layer of security.”
While most large venues are equipped with metal detectors, many smaller ones rely on the vigilance of security guards.
“Now we frisk at the door, search bags — we do that whole level of security that maybe a couple of years ago we didn’t do,” Cazes said.
Arianna Grande, whose concert in Manchester was targeted Monday night, was just in Montreal in March. Evenko, the promoter behind the Bell Centre and several music festivals, insists extra security measures will be put in place, although the company was tight-lipped about exactly what would change.
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the tragic events which took place in Manchester, U.K. We would like to remind everyone that our priority is the health and safety of our fans and employees at all our events. As a preventative measure, we cannot divulge the details of our security plans,” said a statement from Evenko.
But the promoter of the upcoming Formula One race in Montreal says he’ll be taking a second look at security.
“We have to question ourselves [and] look at our plan — ‘This is what we’re going to do today and tomorrow’ — with our security people,” François Dumontier said.
Still, no matter how tight security is at any given venue, experts warn it can be tricky to contain a panicked crowd. Many promoters and concertgoers are hoping police will do their part and step up security outside the city’s many venues.
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