The recent massacre on an outdoor country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip raises concerns about security for a number of large outdoor musical events like Houston’s upcoming Day for Night Festival slated for December.
Omar Afra, the organizer of Day for Night and the summertime Free Press Music Festival, said his group will heighten its security for upcoming events.
“Given what happened yesterday, that means we’ve got to have more secure points and that means not just inside the festival grounds, but again on the perimeter of the festival grounds, and that means more personnel,” Afra told a local TV station.
“We’ve been speaking with the Houston Police Department and our security contractors to really get an understanding of what we can do to make this the safest environment for our attendees.”
Unlike the largely outdoor Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, at Post HTX located at 401 Franklin Street, formerly the Barbara Jordan Post Office building.
The event will feature concerts by Nine Inch Nails, Justice, St. Vincent, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, and Houston’s own Solange Knowles.
The new security measures may be a sign of things to come for Houston’s outdoor festivals, including Afra’s Free Press Summer Fest and the Freedom Over Texas Independence Day celebrations at Eleanor Tinsley Park. Events at Discovery Green, Houston’ downtown park which is overlooked by several high-rise hotels, may also have to rethink their security.
For large events such as these, the debate arises as to whether or not police-controlled drone aircraft should be used to spot potential security risks. Former Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland spoke out in favor of using such drones at large events.
“I see no reason why commercial vendors are allowed to fly large drones over large crowds and outdoor events here in Houston, but the law enforcement community doesn’t use that same technology,” McClelland said.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo also spoke out about the potential uses for drones.
“When you talk about drones in this country in the hands of law enforcement,” Acevedo said, “it invokes a lot of privacy issues, it invokes a lot of fear, and it invokes a lot of backlash.”