After an 18-month hiatus, concerts, festivals, sports and other big events are expected to return to their pre-pandemic glory. Strong demand is proving that fans of every age are eager to get back to the experiences they love and as they do, safety should remain top of mind. As a leader in high consequence threat protection, MSA Security® deploys personnel around the globe to provide enhanced protection for high-profile individuals, venues and events. We consulted with these highly trained specialists about the current threat environment and asked them to share some tips for the average individual attending crowded venues this summer. Here are their top tips:
- If you are heading to a new venue, familiarize yourself with the space and the type of crowd so you can set expectations for yourself and those you are going with.
- When traveling to and from the event on foot, stay on populated well-lit streets - preferably with a group. Do not take shortcuts through isolated areas. If you suspect someone is following you, head immediately to a populated area. Stay closest to the street when walking on a sidewalk and avoid areas with heavy bushes, dark doorways or places of concealment.
- If using public transportation to reach the venue, use designated passenger waiting areas, ride in the conductor’s car or sit at the front of the bus. Be aware of your belongings, keeping them close. Do not display jewelry, cash or valuables.
- When traveling by car to your destination, always park in a well-lit area of the venue, preferably with other cars. Keep packages and belongings out of sight. Upon returning to your vehicle, always check the rear seat area before entering. If a van or truck is parked next to your car, be cautious because you are out of public view. Be sure to maintain your vehicle to avoid unexpected breakdowns and make sure you have a full tank of gas.
- Upon arriving at the venue, know where the exits are and share them with those in your group should you need to react to an unexpected hostile event. If with a group or family, choose a place to meet should you become separated.
- Be constantly vigilant and aware. Refrain from wearing headphones to ensure you can hear your active surroundings. Whenever possible, stay with your group and do not leave for the restrooms or concessions alone, or without your cell phone. Carry your belongings securely and close to your body and only bring with you the cash, credit card or items you need at that time. Never leave your belongings unattended.
- Do not accept drinks or food from anyone at the event, unless you saw it prepared. Never leave your drink unattended.
- Should someone harass you or another in your group, do not respond to them or engage. If possible, walk away from them to a safe and populated area. If necessary, seek venue security. Do not be afraid to yell for help when necessary. Your voice is a weapon.
- Always carry a well-charged cell phone, know your location and in case of emergency, dial 911.
It has been quite a while since gathering at public venues and everyone is anxious, including hostile actors with bad intentions. Keeping these important safety precautions in mind will help protect you and those in your group while enjoying your favorite summer entertainment.
If you are an organization or individual looking to learn more about MSA Security’s Protective Services, visit www.msasecurity.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org.