You just scored some concert tickets for one of the hottest shows of 2017. Maybe it’s the Rolling Stones on their umpteenth tour of the United States, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers coming off the European leg of their tour. Whatever genre of music is your favorite, you’re excited to have floor seats only a few rows from the stage.
Without dimming your excitement at the opportunity to see some of your favorite musicians playing live, , you should consider the security that will be in place at the concert venue on the night of the show.
Lax security can be deadly
To those who grew up attending rock festivals and concerts in the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s, concert security consisted mainly of a few large men who kept drunken fans from leaping onto the stage with their guitar heroes. However, these were the days of festival seating when smoking was still allowed inside the venues.
The concept of general admission festival seating was overhauled after the tragic deaths of 11 fans of British rock superstars The Who at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati in 1979. When too many fans attempted to rush through the few open doors in a stampede for spots by the stage, 11 were crushed. Eight more were critically injured in the tragedy.
Terrorism and fanaticism pose security risks
The potential dangers of lax security at concert halls was never more evident than at the Paris concert massacre last year. It took place at the Bataclan for the American band The Eagles of Death Metal. The tragedy left 89 dead in a well-coordinated terrorist attack.
Obsessive fans can pose security threats that are just as lethal. The family of former Voice contender Christina Grimmie recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit here in Florida against AEG Live. The 22-year-old singer died from gunshots fired by an obsessed fan last June.
She was shot at Orlando’s Plaza Live theater following a show her killer attended. Ms. Grimmie was mingling with fans, signing autographs, when her killer emerged from the queue and shot her. He then turned the gun on himself in the ensuing melee.
Concert promoters and venue owners have a duty to take adequate measures to provide security for attendees and performers to prevent such tragedies. When they fail to do so, and people get injured or killed, it opens the door to potential premises liability or wrongful death litigation.