DALLAS – There are risks to going anywhere and an open venue is no different. The mass shooting that happened in Vegas is now a conversation at every open concert venue.
“The message is going to be very alert, very aware, and being very appreciative of what people’s thoughts or concerns might be,” said owner Ian Vaughn.
Vaughn is set to speak with his security detail about upcoming shows. It is very likely every major event owner is having similar conversations.
Austin City Limits which draws a massive crowd already put out a statement emphasizing its focus on security for this week:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our colleagues and everyone in Las Vegas who was affected by this terrible tragedy. Safety has always been our top priority. Our staff and security team works year-round with the Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, Austin-Travis County EMS, and other authorities to plan and rehearse security and response plans. Over the years, tighter security measures have been implemented at ACL including a layered security plan that includes elements that are seen and unseen, as well as pat downs, bag searches and size limits, and an enhanced security and law enforcement presence inside and outside the festival,” read the statement on its Facebook page.
WFAA spent the early evening with John Matthews who is the executive director of the Community Safety Institute. We went to an empty local amphitheater to hear how he would address an emergency situation.
“The first thing I’m thinking is if the worst happens where do I go?”
Matthews posed rhetorically. He says it is a conversation we don’t have enough. Before settling into the venue he says it is imperative that we find our possible exit points. Matthews says we should be talking about exit points with children too.
If things do go bad Mathews opens up about what to do:
“I’m going to run in a zigzag pattern and I’m making it a difficult target for that shooter. I’m going to stay low to the ground if I can. I want to get in front of these trees, trash can, anything I can.”
Matthews writes in his book, “Mass Shooting: Six Steps to Survival” that a six step approach will put you in a better position to stay alive.
2. Find Cover
4. Assess the Situation
5. Present A Small Target
“We ought to be giving this training to the masses of people. It’s not to make them paranoid, it’s to make them prepared,” he said.
Vaughn has a show Wednesday. He has procedures in place and constant communication with the bands and his staff. In every case after traumatic events like this the performers have opted to continue with the shows. Vaughn says music becomes an opportunity for healing during these tough times.
“We’ve reached out to the local The Colony police department to make sure we have additional officers for the upcoming shows,” he said. Bret Michaels is scheduled to perform on Wednesday.
Vegas is a reminder that these tragedies can happen anywhere. It is no fun living in fear and any bit of preparation may help.
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