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Expect to see a lot more security at music festivals in light of the Manchester attack

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Expect to see a lot more security at music festivals in light of the Manchester attack

WATCH | The Manchester attack already has security providers thinking about what they can do to prevent something similar at upcoming music festivals and concerts.

The Manchester attack has the world on high alert, especially after ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. And music festival organizers and security providers are on particularly high alert given how many people their events attract.

"What you will see is more security at concerts and other venues like this," said terrorism expert Thomas Sanderson, director of the Transnational Threats Project.

Even though they are already doing a good job of this kind of security, it will certainly increase it
Thomas Sanderson
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The Manchester Arena, where Ariana Grande's concert took place, was ripe with concert-goers and security checks, but even that wasn't enough.

While the attack happened overseas, security experts say US festival and concert organizers will not want to take any chances.

"You will see a boost in security around the venue, probably more video cameras, more pat-downs and metal detectors at a stand-off distance from crowds," said Sanderson.

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This image shows how dark an outdoor festival like Coachella can get. Coachella already prohibits more items than it allows and pat-downs at the entrances are thought to mitigate attacks from happening.

A lot of music festivals contract out their security efforts to third parties, and one such company, Venue Solutions Group (VSG), says it is constantly revising security procedures.

"We are constantly on a 24/7, 365, 7-days-a-week basis, moving to create policies, procedures and protocols," said Russ Simmons, managing partner at VSG. "I think the key learning for us is to just reinforce how important it is for security to be holistic while the guest is in our care."


Simmons told Circa in a phone interview that a major artist's management had called him the day after the attack to confirm that the best security measures were in place for a concert happening later this week.

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Mastioucha Peres, 30, from Paris, lights candles during a gathering that marks one year after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper, in Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. It's a year to the day since an attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo launched a bloody year in the French capital. Tensions in France, under a state of emergency since a wave of attacks on Nov. 13, have been even higher this week as the anniversary of the January attacks approached. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The Manchester attack is reminiscent of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks that rattled Paris, France, in 2015.

This is the third fatal concert attack in two years. An Eagles of Death concert was one of the targets during the 2015 Paris attacks. After Christina Grimmie was gunned down at her own concert, her family sued AEG Live and the security company working the show.

Dark, crowded concerts are an ideal setting for attacks like these, which is why music festivals like Coachella with more than 200,000 attendees have a laundry list of items not allowed on its premises. And that list might be getting longer.

"One thing I would note is that an individual bomber like this and, even if he had one or two friends involved, are extremely difficult to detect," Sanderson added.

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