Security Theater

Discussion in 'Safety' started by bobgaggle, Jun 14, 2019.

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Is security theater worth it?

  1. Yes, Its a deterrent to crime

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  2. No, Its a show for sheeple

    7 vote(s)
    63.6%
  3. Maybe, What's the harm?

    3 vote(s)
    27.3%
  4. No, Its a needless violation of privacy

    3 vote(s)
    27.3%
  5. Yes, it makes people feel safe, and feelings trump facts.

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    I think this has been discussed before, but I went to my first concert in about 7 years and was amazed at how "security" has been ramped up. Had to walk through a metal detector to even get in the building. The guy took 10 seconds to examine my keys, another 10 to look through my wallet?! wtf is going on? I'm gonna be the guy who commits the next mass killing at a concert with a keychain knife? Maybe I've got one of those "survival" cards that slips into a wallet and has a screwdriver and a blade in it? When we were walking to the venue, we passed the alley to the loading dock, guarded by a flimsy barricade and one less than fit man who was busy ogling the female passersby. In most of the arenas/big road houses I've worked at, if you look like you're supposed to be there no one is going to challenge you. And in this industry, all you need is a black shirt and some cargo pants to look like you belong (maybe also a disgruntled demeanor). There's no way its difficult to sneak into these places, especially if you've got a sinister motive...
     
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  2. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    The survey misses an important option: Yes, it makes my insurance company and/or lawyer happy
     
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  3. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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  4. Calc

    Calc Active Member

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    I do think it's important to define what Security Theatre is. There are useful applications of some security restrictions that I feel do actually boost safety in some situations. A moderate amount of security will help filter out low-level troublemakers.
    That said, there's nothing you can do to stop someone truly determined to cause damage, and pretending otherwise is mostly a CYA move. Invent a perfect security gate, and they can just attack the line to get in.

    At Venue X I go to the guard station, self identify/cross my name off the list, and get a paper pass that lets me go wherever for the day. I only work there ~10 days a year, so nobody outside the crew recognizes me. It keeps patrons out of the back stage area, but that's it security-wise. Low hassle, low security, but does the intended job.
    Venue Y's corporate owner had an attack on one of their venues a few years back, and rolled out metal detectors afterward. I have keys to the building. I park in the back by the dock, walk through the whole building up to the front, fail the metal detector due to my steel toe shoes, and then get a easily-duplicated paper pass for the day. Security Theatre.
     
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  5. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  6. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    That wouldn't be the University of Waterloo would it?
     
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  7. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  8. tjrobb

    tjrobb Well-Known Member

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    Heh, I remember working in a university about 10 years ago. No active security, if you knew how you could access the tunnels and find yourself in all sorts of fun places. I can't go into details of course, but it isn't a small school.
     
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  9. Mac Hosehead

    Mac Hosehead Well-Known Member

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    Back in olden times, I worked a touring performance of Joffery II with Ron Reagan Jr.. Everyone on stage had to have a previous background check and were given pins to wear. Secret Service agents wandered the theater talking into their shirt cuffs and whatnot. One agent stationed himself near the rear stage door. He carried a bag about the size of a large satchel. Whenever anyone came to the door he would put his bag into a "ready" position.

    The show was uneventful. Ron Jr. was whisked away at the end. We never saw what was in the bag. The speculation was that it was an Uzi.
     
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  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I work on the NYS capital campus. Every. Single. Vehicle. that enters out dock has to be screened by NYS police. Each public parking lot has a guard booth that may or may not have a trooper in it inspecting every car that comes in. We routinly have NYS police at events. When the Governor is in or any other high level dignitary we have full sweeps with dogs etc. All of this is setup to deture someone from doing something. Its set up to make sure everyone knows someone is watching. Sure, you could blow right through it if you really wanted to but you know you'll have to do that.

    It also there for the artist and venue protection as well. You don't want "band name" or "venue" + stabbing in any headlines. People won't come to your shows anymore. Wherever mass quantities of liquor is served its always in your best interest to make sure there are not weapons there.

    We tend to never have issues at our venue. We always have security on and by the time people get into our space they have run into at least 2 layers of security. Bit different then a festival in the middle of a field.
     
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  11. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    Our city venues put in scanners a couple of years ago.

    Among the oddities, all staff have venue badges but must go through the very insensitive scanners. Policy is you can then go in and out without scanning. This applies to road crew as well, and they tend to go out to their busses a lot! But locals without show badges are often forced back though if gone more than a few minutes, staff rotation or whatever.

    The county sheriff had an issue with some policies and it sound up as an article I the paper. The official word is that they are refining policies as they go. 3 years later it's still in flux.
     
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  12. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  13. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    We had the Joffrey II for a month in pre-Tour tech, Ron Jr., Secret Service and all (obviously the 80’s). I can’t recall the security being all that stringent, wouldn’t surprise me if the satchel carried the details comic book supply.
     
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  14. macsound

    macsound Well-Known Member

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    One large, city owned community theatre I worked at, I had previously performed at when a child.

    As a child, they gave everyone handstamps as they read down the roster.
    As an adult, they had plastic, numbered badges that you would pickup each day when entering the backstage area and making sure you were on the list.

    Because the theatre company had to pay an additional "security guard" (high school or college student) if they went over 100 people backstage, the producers would update the backstage list as often as they needed to, to make sure there were only 99 people on the list. Because of this, people would fall off the list - like electricians who would come in once a week to ensure the plot was still accurate or fly captains, wig + prop maintaince people etc. Since they only really needed to be there for a less than an hour and the producer was the only one able to modify the backstage list, typically the most important tasks of the week would never get done because the person wasn't allowed backstage.
    It was always such an absurd rule filled facility that was do inconsistent.
     
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  15. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member Departed Member

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  16. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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    SOH have metal detectors and X-ray bag scanners for patrons, but not for staff/artists. I do have to swipe my pass to get into the building though and when I do, my profile pops up on the computer monitors of the stage door staff. Those guys are amazing and remember a huge number of names and faces.

    There’s also a heavy police presence on site as well as always visible security staff; the building’s Head of Security is an ex-cop who came to chat with us about how they keep the place secure, which was actually very interesting - they’ve refined the systems massively over the years and now run a very, very tight ship. They still get the odd person who manages to get past security and onto the sails but only once every few years!

    The loading dock is probably the most secure part of the building in that vehicles have to be booked in to gain entry, but it would be very difficult for a pedestrian to get anywhere near it due to the nature of the entry.

    The Arts Centre Melbourne will shortly be examining its security procedures, I think, after a heckler was able to gain access to the theatre with a megaphone on an opening night of one of our productions down there - he is a disgruntled composer who had an opera commissioned by the company 50 years ago, but it was never performed, and he’s still bitter about it. He intended to read a statement to the audience but couldn’t get his megaphone working and the house lights went down so he couldn’t see the text! I just wanted to know how he got the megaphone into the theatre in the first place and I won’t have been the only one. Hell of a grudge to hold though.
     
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