2017 was a year that shook the music industry, specifically the live music scene. After the events at Ariana Grande’s show in Manchester, England and the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, security plans are strengthening and budgets are rising. It’s an understatement to consider the industry on high alert.
On May 22, a suicide bomber attacked Manchester Arena as concert-goers left an Ariana Grande show, claiming the lives of 23 people – injuring over 500. Months later, on October 1, a gunman fired over 1,100 rounds from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino at Route 91 attendees. Claiming 58 lives and injuring 546, this attack has joined the ranks of some of the deadliest shootings, becoming the worst mass-shooting in modern history.
Promoters everywhere are facing rising security costs, some seeing rises of up to 20 percent. Costs will continue to rise another 10 to 15 percent in the coming year. This includes new measures being taken in response to the Vegas shooting.
“The margins are so thin, we’re getting to a point where it’s not worth the risk,” Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, who announced the end of the tour in November, told Billboard Music. Lyman has been keeping track of survivor lawsuits filed after Route 91 to get an idea of what liabilities show organizers will face moving forward.
“You hate to watch litigation like this set a precedent, but if the risks of putting on these events start to outweigh the rewards, then you’ll either see less shows, or more move inside to secured buildings and less outdoor events.”