Security expert calls for 'urgent rethink' after Manchester attack

Security expert calls for 'urgent rethink' after Manchester attack

A security expert has said the Manchester attack is a "wake-up call" for the live business - but stressed the need to avoid knee-jerk reactions. 

Artists, industry and public alike have come together in a show of unity following the May 22 atrocity, which claimed 22 lives and injured more than 100 others following a performance by Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena.

Reg Walker, director of Iridium Consultancy, which works with a number of UK venues and festivals, spoke of steps that venues could take to help avoid a repeat of the tragedy, which took place in a public space immediately outside of the SMG Europe-operated arena. 

"I think that we need an urgent rethink on proactive observation outside of venues, particularly between transport hubs and venues," he said. "

Walker added that it was important to put the tragedy in some sort of perspective. "This is the first bombing on mainland UK since 2005 and I think it's very easy to start going along with knee-jerk reactions," he said. "But it's certainly a wake-up call that there's not only the threat of this happening, but that it can happen.

"I'm not necessarily of the opinion that only music events are at risk, but any crowded place where people congregate."

Kiss' scheduled May 30 concert at Manchester Arena has been cancelled, while Take That's planned trio of dates are being merged into one gig at the city's Etihad Stadium on June 18. All other UK concerts over the weekend went ahead as planned with heightened security, including a 50,000-capacity show headlined by Courteeners at Manchester's Emirates Old Trafford, BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend in Hull and Iron Maiden at The O2 in London. 

See the latest issue on Music Week for more industry reaction. 

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