Pulse, Christina Grimmie shootings renew talks of concert safety in Tampa Bay
The day after the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, the tour manager for St. Lucia placed a call to Orlando. The New York indie pop band has a concert Wednesday at a nearby venue, the Social, and he wanted to make sure security was airtight.
“You don’t want to have an airport situation, where you have to take off all your clothes to get into a show,” singer Jean-Philip Grobler said Monday before the band’s show at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. “But hopefully they’ll be doing some kid of patdown or checks, because I know we have a lot of LGBT fans. You just hope that your event isn’t going to be the next target.”
That aura of unease now permeates the entire concert industry, from artists to fans to promoters to venues. Across Tampa Bay, the Orlando shootings — along with Friday’s killing of The Voice singer Christina Grimmie, shot as she mingled with fans after a concert — are prompting new talks at every level about club and concert safety.
That’s the good news. The bad news? There might not be much anyone can do about it.
“It’s a nightclub’s obligation to operate on the safest possible level it can for ordinary and extraordinary situations, but this is beyond that,” said Tom DeGeorge, owner of Crowbar in Ybor City. “When a tragedy like this happens that is recognized on a world level, like what happened in Paris or what happened in Orlando, it’s not even feasible to think that a nightclub or bar owner could be prepared for that kind of violence.”