2016 is proving to be an increasingly trying year, as the world has experienced an unprecedented number of terrorist-related attacks all across the globe. Nightclubs and festivals, which were once thought to be inclusive safe-spaces, are now being targeted, as the close proximity of their patrons lends itself to the potential for immense damage. Incidents like the Pulse nightclub shooting or the more recent suicide bombing at a German music festival show that anything can happen anywhere, pushing organizers to seriously reconsider many aspects of their shows.
It seems that some festivals in Europe are significantly ramping up their security measures in an attempt to thwart would-be attackers from doing harm. While this is in no way a ‘fix-all’ type of solution, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. A prominent metal festival in Germany called Wacken Open Air took some bold steps, banning any and all bags and backpacks from the festival grounds. Another festival in Austria, Lake Festival which features headliners like Alesso, DJ Snake, and Martin Garrix, has placed a ban on large backpacks and purses, while also bringing in an additional 500+ security and medical personnel.
Belgian festival Rock Werchter has been required to increase police presence on its grounds, as the country is still on high-alert following the recent airport bombings. While bags have not been banned yet, drug-sniffing dogs will be present and 50 metal-detecting gates will be installed to scan patrons as they enter. In the words of festival organizer Yo Van Saet:
Compare it to airport check-ins.
If we can live with waiting through immense lines at the airport with the potential for a cavity search just to sit in a cramped space for multiple hours, I think we can live with whatever comparable security measures are implemented to keep us safe while dancing for an entire weekend.