Event planners rattled by Las Vegas massacre - move to beef up security
Months ago, the entertainment industry was jarred by a bombing at the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert.
Last Sunday, the Route 91 Country Music Festival held at the Manadalay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, was violently ambushed by a lone gunman, who killed 59 people.
Jabba, organiser of the popular New York stage show, Best of the Best, told THE STAR that the news of the Mandalay massacre was devastating and sad.
He said he plans to beef up security at his events 100 per cent.
"I'm gonna have extra top-notch security, That's the only thing we can do. Patrons safety is the most important, forget money, artiste and turnout. Imagine, people fly across the world to see your show and sumn happen to them," Jabba said.
While saying his events are normally incident free, he said: "But as you can see how the world is running right now, you can't tell the future."
Bobbi Clarke, organiser of Irie Jamboree, said the loss of life is the biggest thing when trying to entertain people. He called the Mandalay massacre an event producer's nightmare.
"It's a nightmare you never hope happens to you," he said. "To have this happen, it cuts really close to home because it's everything we're always on the lookout for. You try day and night not to have it happen. It's confirmation of one of our worst fears."
Clarke said promoters must now also contend with potential policy changes, which may come about following the Mandalay massacre, as happened in 2014, following a tragic stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.
"The stage fell down because it couldn't manage the wind gusts and people died. That incident caused major overhauls in New York that addressed that because you know it's 'target city'," he said, pointing out that the number of pre-event inspections increased and new permits and new laws came into effect.
"We have to go through testing and drills with police for all these things before any event. There is a protocol for stampede, gas-line issues. It's part of our sad reality, but gives us reason to reconsider doing these events now, since they're easy targets," he said. "It got worse over the years, just to get a permit."
Still, Jabba is not convinced that Caribbean-themed events are under immediate threat from terrorists.
"West Indian people, you know how wi operate areddi. We don't have them kinda problems. Maybe one pickpocket or a man bruk inna yuh car, but in the history of music, these things don't happen in our culture," he said.