We've had it coming. After the string of terror hits in the European continent. And after the bombings of Brussels it was descided the treath level remains on 3(after it was raised to 4 and lowered again). This has effect on every belgian festival(which number well in the 280).
Now the festivals are getting worried and are thinking out ways to deal with the extra security requirements that are forced upon them. Recently there was a meeting of about 22 big festivals to discuss how to deal with the elevated treath level. And even individually festival organisers are taking security measures.
A number of big ones have agreed to -for example- place metal detectors on the entrances. that system will be tested first on the AC/DC concert of may 16th. If Darkview readers decide to go, be warned. Although it could go smoothly, the chances are it will cause bigger waiting ques.
And this is immediatly the big issue with extra security layers on this level 3 treath alert. How do festivals need to deal with bottlenecks without causing longer lines with more people.
Everyone is asking these questions, including the public that will visit festivals this summer. As Belgium is known for its festive culture, We have several of the biggest in Europe. And we are not even counting the small ones. almost every city and every town has its own festival.
Certain festivals are even going as far as clearing the site each morning and running bomb-sniffing dogs troughout the whole site and onstage backstage. Even voulenteers and suppliers are getting checked rigourusly. This will no doubt expand to all of the big ones.
And the biggest part for all the vistors in Belgium will be the fact that backpacks and even purses are banned from the festival site itself. This is the most important message for international visitors. Hence why we put this in bold. They are allowed on the camping site however.
If you try to take it with you when entering the festival grounds, it will be taken from you without mercy. As do the regular items such as glass bottles and stuff like that. It will end in a dumbster without second thoughts. Be aware of that.
By law festivals are required to take the same measures as footbal games or big events. OCAD, the belgium Treath assessment center requires this measures. As they demand hightened awareness around so called soft targets(cinema's, malls, festivals, etc...)
For graspop, you need to be extra carefull. The festival lies near nuclear-waste processing and the nuclear research center. So some streets are closed down.
Some questions are raised on how far festivals need to go to provide security. Now already, big festivals such as Graspop, Tomorrowland, Rock Werchter are using RFID tags on the wristbands to follow public-movements and power certain accomodations. In some cases it is tied to a real ID(card) and even your facebook account. However, it has already happened that festivals got approached by company's to install facial recognition systems. The first time such systems got deployed where on the UK Download festival and most big US festivals.
"the strategically placed cameras scanned faces at the Download Festival site in Donington before comparing it with a database of custody images from across Europe.”
In other words, everybody will get scanned and compared to an European database with every known criminal. How this all related to privacy laws is unknown. Plus all scanned data is stored somewhere, what happens to that? American journalist Kenneth Lipp recently found out about 70 hours of security footage of Boston Calling whas still to be found online.