Terrorists Bomb Ariana Grande Concert, 22 Dead

The extremists are at it again, this time they have targeted a crowd full of tween and teenage kids at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

First things first, the crew and band are safe and no one from the production team, in my initial researching, has been hurt.  Sorry folks, this is an industry blog.  Industry family is first to me.

Catch up:

and this:

If you were here last night — police are looking for video footage:
www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or www.ukpoliceimageappeal.com

This is terribly f**ked.  Authorities are calling this obviously a terror attack — reports are that a “shrapnel-style” improvised explosive device or devices were detonated just after the end of the show, some reports say “just after the last song,” the lights were on.  The bomber, who authorities believe was a lone bomber, set off his bullshit right in the middle of people leaving in droves in the foyer of the venue.  What a righteous, big-man move, blowing up a frigging bomb while innocent people were leaving a concert.  Witnesses reported seeing loose nuts and bolts strewn everywhere after the explosion; proof that this was some kind of casualty-centric fragmenting explosion meant to maim and kill.  The bomber is dead; this was the biggest attack in the city’s history.

Allow me to reiterate:  these cowards attacked an arena full of young kids, teenagers, and parents.

Moment of the explosion — listen about five seconds in, you can hear the thud:

What we know as of 12:44am CDT, Tuesday, 23 May 2017, from the BBC:

  • The arena said the explosion happened outside the venue, as people began streaming from the doors
  • Greater Manchester Police were called to the scene at 22:35 BST on Monday and surrounding roads were closed
  • The cause is unknown but Prime Minister Theresa May said police were treating it as “an appalling terrorist attack”
  • GMP chief constable Ian Hopkins said the force would treat it as terror “until we have further information”
  • If confirmed to be a terrorist attack it would be the worst in the UK since 56 people were killed in the London bombings of July 2005
  • Unconfirmed reports from two unnamed US officials suggested the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber
  • Eyewitnesses reported nuts and bolts strewn around the floor and the smell of explosives
  • All national campaigning in the general election has been suspended
  • Mrs May will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee at 09:00
  • The nearby Victoria railway station was evacuated and all Tuesday trains have been cancelled

The mess leaving the show floor, from Twitter user @Hannawwh:

Reporting from Al Jazeera English:

Who else in Production/Design is pissed off?  These cowards.

PA announcer telling everyone “nothing is wrong, no need to rush…”

More as it develops.  Stay tuned.

Hat tips:

http://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-england-manchester-40007967

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-40008026

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-40007886

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/manchester-arena-explosions-two-loud-10478734

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/22/manchester-arena-police-explosion-ariana-grande-concert-england

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/multiple-people-killed-ariana-grande-concert-britain-article-1.3186874

 

 

Caveat Emptor: Have You Been Following the #FyreFestival?!

Were you a Fyre Festival Production contractor or employee?
We want to hear from you.
contact us here ASAP.

Update, 15 May 2017:
Looks like nobody is getting paid from Fyre Festival.  You can listen to the entire call at Vice News right now via SoundCloud, and let me tell you, it is some unreal stuff.  He starts out saying that ‘hey, a lot of people will resign after this and we understand, but if you want to stay with the company, we welcome you to stay and maybe we can make payroll in the future.’  Say whaaaaaat?!

Also, they’re not letting anybody go so that they can claim unemployment.  What the hell is that???  Listen to the recording.  This shit is UN-REAL.  Click the red PLAY arrow below.  Ja Rule starts off the call saying ““I’m on the phone, but I can barely hear you all because of this fucking hum” this and that.  Then Billy McFarlane says ‘don’t delete any files, the FBI needs them.’

Whaaat?

Two incredible financial articles from Bloomberg on this mess:
Fyre Festival Promoter’s $90 Million Valuation Untethered to Reality
Fyre Festival was Buried Under Millions in Debt Before it Even Began


SOOOOO…  The FYRE FESTIVAL.

Right now there is a huuuuuuge controversy over a big festival planned by Ja Rule and some guy named Billy McFarland over the disaster situation called Fyre Festival.

The FYRE FESTIVAL dinner! FOUR GRAND for this

There are tons of links on this, bear with me — the crap hole seems to run deep on this one.  Here’s the ad video for the Fyre Festival:

Looks pretty cool so far, damn!  Jet skis, women in little tiny bikinis who don’t talk to guys built like me, big muscly dudes who they do talk to, famous people, a bunch of bands, catered and liquored, hobnobbing with other rich “influencers” and all that…  Fyre Festival looks pretty awesome from the outside advertising, no?!

Vice News:

If Fyre Festival seemed last-minute, that’s because it was. McFarland thought of the idea in October 2016 and announced the festival on Instagram a month later, spending millions on models, private jets, and yachts to promote what would be his first-ever large-scale event, sources familiar with the planning said.

He spent $250,000 on a single Instagram post from Kim Kardashian’s half-sister Kendall Jenner and laid out hundreds of thousands more on lesser-name “influencers,” none of whom were paid less than $20,000, one person familiar with the payments said.

Uh, what?  This guy McFarland started planning this thing two months before people were starting to arrive on the island.  I wonder if he thought he could throw some money around and just magically “white rich guy” shit into happening.  Wait, there’s more!  Here’s luggage pickup.  That’s a couple of guys unloading everyone’s luggage in the dark:

I guess things didn’t go so well. Early in my career a person I looked up to retaught me something my dad had always said — “Remember the 5 P’s of Performance: Piss Poor Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

Right now, the Fyre Festival website URL directs you to a letter — an apology maybe?  I don’t know, what do you think?

In case the image doesn’t load through, here’s the text that I scanned from the Fyre Festival site on 5/4/2017:

Fyre Festival
April 29, 2017

Yesterday was a very challenging day for all of us. But we would like to fully explain what happened.

Billy McFarland and Ja Rule started a partnership over a mutual interest in technology, the ocean, and rap music. This unique combination of interests led them to the idea that, through their combined passions, they could create a new type of music festival and experience on a remote island.

They simply weren’t ready for what happened next, or how big this thing would get. They started by making a website and launching a viral campaign. Ja helped book talent, and they had hundreds of local Bahamians join in the effort. Suddenly, they found themselves transforming a small island and trying to build a festival. Thousands of people wanted to come. They were excited, but then the roadblocks started popping up.

As amazing as the islands are, the infrastructure for a festival of this magnitude needed to be built from the ground up. So, we decided to literally attempt to build a city. We set up water and waste management, brought an ambulance from New York, and chartered 737 planes to shuttle our guests via 12 flights a day from Miami. We thought we were ready, but then everyone arrived.

The team was overwhelmed. The airport was jam packed. The buses couldn’t handle the load. And the wind from rough weather took down half of the tents on the morning our guests were scheduled to arrive. This is an unacceptable guest experience and the Fyre team takes full responsibility for the issues that occurred.

Everyone was very concerned for our guests. They needed a place to sleep and everyone did their absolute best to rebuild. We took everyone to the beach and built as many tents and beds as fast as possible, but as more guests arrived, we were simply in over our heads. Ultimately, we didn’t think security could keep up, so we had to postpone the festival. The response to the postponement was immediate and intense. We had no other options, so we began the process of getting guests quickly and safely back to Miami, which continued through the weekend. Our top priority as a company is to ensure the comfort and safe return home of all of our guests.

Then something amazing happened: venues, bands, and people started contacting us and said they’d do anything to make this festival a reality and how they wanted to help. The support from the musical community has been overwhelming and we couldn’t be more humbled or inspired by this experience. People were rooting for us after the worst day we’ve ever had as a company. After speaking with our potential partners, we have decided to add more seasoned event experts to the 2018 Fyre Festival, which will take place at a United States beach venue.

All festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details. Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival.

We’re grateful for the Bahamian Government and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for their assistance during this challenging time—their efforts have been exemplary. We want to thank the people of the Bahamas for their support and for graciously allowing us the privilege of visiting their islands. We apologize for any inconvenience the past 24-hours has caused and we look forward to making a considerable donation to the Bahamas Red Cross Society as part of our initiatives. We need to make this right. And once we make this right, then we will put on the dream festival we sought to have since the inception of Fyre.

Thank you for all your continued patience and understanding. We apologize for what all of our guests and staff went through over the last 24 hours and will work tirelessly to make this right. Please check our official social media channels (@fyrefestival) for further important updates.

Oh, and Ja Rule’s tweet.  It’s not his fault either:

Honestly, I gotta tell you that it seems like with the proper planning, some actual event professionals as ourselves could have put on a pretty massively cool festival there, albeit at pretty massive expense to the people buying the tickets — but those tickets, some of them were upwards of FORTY GRAND, so instead of the creators pissing away millions on jets, models, and that kind of rich people stuff, they could have been putting in some money on infrastructure and planning — OR, cancelled the thing before a single person was put in that pretty precarious situation.  I am not an attorney, but knowing that place was in such unprepared shambles as it was, with the main acts dropping out…letting people fly there is pretty dangerously illegal behavior, is it not?

Were you a Fyre Festival Production contractor?
We want to hear from you
contact us here ASAP.

Toilet and plumbing situation:

Serious logistical planning for the festival didn’t even begin until late February or early March — less than two months before the thousands of people McFarland had sold a luxury vacation on a private island were scheduled to arrive.

The toilet and shower supplier, who did not get the Fyre Festival contract, told the organizers it would cost north of $1 million just to order the equipment — a rush-order mark-up he unironically referred to as “disaster pricing.” That number did not include the cost of shipping the equipment to the island or the high cost of the barge needed to dispose of the wastewater created by thousands of people showering and using the toilet for four days.

From ABC on the actual shutdown of the island the festival was on by the Bahamanian government:

The site in the Bahamas where the now-postponed Fyre Festival was to happen is on “lockdown” by the island country’s government.

Private security guards were seen Saturday protecting the main site where people had been slated to sleep in luxury tents.

On Sunday, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism told ABC News, “Customs has the area on lockdown because [festival organizer] Billy [McFarland] has not paid customs duty taxes on the items that he imported” for the event. “He and his staff have left the items with a security company guarding it.”

ABC News is attempting to reach McFarland for comment in regard to the tourism ministry’s statement.

Customs duty taxes are often levied on goods transported internationally.

Fyre Festival said in a statement Friday that it had to import many items to essentially build a city because the private island of Fyre Cay where the luxury concert event was to take place, lacked “the physical infrastructure” needed “to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests.”

News of a lockdown at the site comes after festival organizers released a statement Saturday trying to explain what happened with the festival, which was postponed amid a storm of complaints posted on social media.

The event, tickets for which cost up to thousands of dollars, erupted into what the tourism office called “total disorganization and chaos” after hundreds of prospective concertgoers landed in the Bahamas. The planned lineup included Ja Rule, Daya and Tyga.

On Saturday, the organizers promised in a statement posted to the festival’s website that “all festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details.”

“Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival,” the statement read.

Next year’s festival?  Really!  Here’s the chaos before night fell, the guy who posted this in the comments on the tweet said “night has fallen, we still have no luggage.”  Whoa.

This right here might be the funniest representation of the festival, so bear with me, it’s not English, but it is subtitled and outstanding:

Variety has an outstanding article with two former employees of the Fyre Festival Funk — check this out, this makes me want to punch this dumbass in the neck because what he has done is to degrade our entire industry as some kind of half-assed hope-and-pray squad when what has happened is that this rich jerk fired everybody who told him this was impossible:

The two production professionals became concerned as soon as they came on board. “They had fired a [previous production company], so we took a look at how much had been done — and there were so many red flags,” one said. “Things like water [supply], bathrooms and other everyday structures that should have been in place six months before — none of that had been done. We all said to them, ‘It takes at least eight months to a year to produce a festival, you have to push the date’ — we stressed that and said that over and over. And they were like ‘It’ll be fine, it’s not that big of a deal.’ They kept making it seem like we were exaggerating. It was like they didn’t care.”Even appealing to the young entrepreneurs’ reputations among the rich-millennial set they coveted had little effect.

“We said, ‘What you’ve promised [in statements and advertising promoting the festival] as opposed to what we’re even maybe capable of delivering in this amount of time is not the same. You’re going to destroy your brand if you try to have it on this date and don’t deliver what you promised. If you push the date a year, people will be upset. But once you deliver what you promised, they’ll get over it.’ But it was like they didn’t care: They literally kept saying, ‘We’re gonna be legends.’”

And therein lies what may be the most baffling element of the entire Fyre fiasco. Being “legends” and catering to rich VIPs seems to have been the main motivation in establishing the festival.

“I actually don’t think it was about money,” the second professional said. “I think they were just rich guys who had always been able to pay their way through things and pull them off somehow, and they just didn’t understand that the timeline was too short and they didn’t want to hear it. I think their friends and the people they wanted to have a good time — the VIPs — would be staying at [nearby] villas and resorts and on yachts and be safe, they didn’t worry as much about infrastructure and the everyday ticket-buyer.”

The level of disorganization was so deep that as recently as mid-March, it’s likely that several vital elements of producing a festival had not yet been secured (and it’s unclear whether they ever were). “I kept stressing that they had to get festival insurance, you can’t run a festival without it, and I honestly don’t know if they ever got it,” the first former employee said. “And I know for a fact that even though the [emergency medical services] company and staff they’d hired was certified, the festival hadn’t secured the proper permits for them to be able to practice in the Bahamas.”

Here’s a millennial account of what went down because she was there — you can listen to all of it or fast forward about three minutes in, your choice.  It does have some footage of the clusterfuckery at that island…

I highly, highly recommend checking out William Finley’s twitter account, because that dude was there and he has some unreal footage.  This was a galactic cluster.
WHICH REMINDS ME, HERE’S THE PDF OF THE FIRST LAWSUIT!!!  Both links can be right-clicked and “save-as”

Geragos and Geragos complaint on behalf of Daniel Jung

Now some other rich people who were staying on the island in a villa made a video talking about his experience at the festival — he was on the ground and was participating until the festival was cancelled.  It’s a long rant, but it’s insight:

And then these two guys here are about to crack you up with a no-holds-barred recap.  Not safe language, FYI.

YIKES.  Well, I guess it will be interesting to see the lawsuit on this sucker.

 

Hat tips:

Fyre Festival Employees Reveal Details Behind the Disaster: ‘It Was Incompetence on an Inconceivable Scale’

https://news.vice.com/story/fyre-fest-organizers-blew-all-their-money-months-early-on-models-planes-and-yachts

William Finley’s twitter

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/fyre-festival-organizers-attendees-refunded-full/story?id=47103941

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/ja-rule-speaks-fyre-festival-controversy-im-heartbroken/story?id=47089576

 

 

Shooting in Playa Del Carmen at BPM Mexico 2017, 5 Dead

Five people killed in a shooting at Playa Del Carmen, Cancun, Mexico, fifteen hospitalized with various injuries.  This is the 2017 BPM Music Festival.

Authorities are not calling this a terrorist attack.  What that means to Americans is that this doesn’t seem to be racially or politically motivated.

Isn’t any attack on people who weren’t planning on being attacked kind of terroristic?

Two Canadians, an Italian, a Colombian, and two yet unidentified people were killed in this attack — four from gunshot wounds, one woman was trampled to death when people rushed to get out of the venue.  Updated counts are calling 15 people wounded in the shootings, mostly minor injuries to Americans, Mexicans, and Canadians, who have since been treated and released from area hospitals.  This is initially looking like some kind of disagreement between people in the club or people around the club, but this is Mexico, and that information isn’t out there yet, at least not as of the posting of this article.

There has been a comment placed on the BPM website:
It is with great sadness to share that police have confirmed reports of a lone shooter outside the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa Del Carmen earlier today, which resulted in four fatalities and twelve injured. The violence began on 12th street in front of the club and three members of the BPM security team were among those whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue.

The BPM Festival has been working closely with the local authorities (Seguridad Publica / Policia Turistica) throughout the festival to ensure public safety and security for all visitors. We are overcome with grief over this senseless act of violence and we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement and government officials as they continue their investigation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families and all those affected by these tragic events.

The BPM Festival Familia

Some video:

This one has some gnarly photos first before a little video clip, just heads up:

Something that is important — 2-3 of these people were staff — BPM security staff.  These folks were in the line of fire based on their job and location, but it goes to show that no one is immune.  Playa Del Carmen has apparently been lucky in not getting hit with a lot of the Cartel violence, perhaps that time is coming to an end.

It bothers me that people become so complacent anymore at shows, almost so much so that the experience is becoming harsh for those interfacing with the general public.  Obviously a huge thank you to those who aren’t like that, but to those who are, it makes the job twice as hard.  For those who are surprised when things like this take place, when a group of people is attacked at a live event, why are you surprised?  In the event of something like this, if it’s politically or racially motivated, our events are exactly the kind of place an extremist individual or just a generally sick f**k who wants to amass casualties for some crazy internal ideal would attack.  Don’t be surprised if, over the next year, you see security at events in our business increase, change, and adapt to fit and limit these situations.  If you’ve ever lit an event for a president, you know what I mean.  Our events will be attacked in the future, there is nothing we can really do about it beyond trying to limit an attacker from getting anywhere near people, or taking weapons from someone planning to kill people before they use them, via security at venues.

Interesting festivalgoer experience from The Sun:

“We’d carried on dancing until a wave of fear went through the place and everyone hit the deck.

“I was one of the last to get out and saw one man who was clearly dead covered in a lot of blood.

“Two women were crouched over him crying and one had taken her top off to try to stem the flow of blood but he look beyond hope.

“Outside in the road I saw another man screaming as he was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg – the scene was chaotic and no one knew where to run at first.

“Lots of music fans from Britain and all over Europe were in town and it was a brilliant festival.

“This is the last thing we expected – they were shocking sights.”

From Reuters:

At least five people, including four foreigners, were killed and 15 were wounded early on Monday when a shooter opened fire at a nightclub in Mexico’s Playa del Carmen resort during the BPM electronic music festival, state officials said.

Quintana Roo State Attorney General Miguel Angel Pech told a press conference that two Canadians, an Italian and a Colombian were killed. A woman died in the stampede to exit the club.

The Canadian government confirmed that one of its citizens had died and said it was investigating the reports of a second Canadian death.

Pech said the incident began when a person entered the Blue Parrot nightclub armed around 3.00 a.m. on Monday morning, during the closing of the festival. Another person tried to stop the person, sparking a gunfight that drew in security staff.

The shooting represents a major blow to Mexico’s tourism industry, which has been one of the few bright spots in the economy thanks to a weak peso exchange rate.

Pech added that 15 people were injured, of whom 10 are still in hospital. The state government said in a statement that one person was in grave condition. Four people were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the incident.

Pech said two of the dead were BPM security workers but the festival said in a statement that three members of their security team were killed. BPM said the shooting was carried out by a lone shooter.

Quintana Roo and the surrounding Yucatan peninsula have traditionally been less violent than other parts of Mexico, with relatively low murder rates. However, with many foreign tourists and a vibrant night life scene, there has long been an important local drug market in and around Playa Del Carmen.

The organizer of an electronic music event near Playa Del Carmen told Reuters that armed men who claimed to be part of a drug cartel turned up recently at one of his parties, demanding access to sell drugs.

The event’s security team decided to let them enter so as to avoid conflict with the men, the organizer said, adding that there were now cells from all the major Mexican cartels operating in Quintana Roo, a wealthy region full of tourists.

The organizer said the situation in Quintana Roo deteriorated after the political party controlling the state government was forced out in local elections last year, a shift that can spark violence as criminal groups struggle to realign their allegiances with the incoming political class.

“They’re all fighting for control of the region,” said the organizer, who declined to be named for fear of reprisals. “This is an aggression toward any promoter of electronic music in Mexico. It’s a wound for the entire community.”

He added that he thought BPM would have to end, and feared for his own events in the region.

Videos purportedly shot at the scene shown on television and social media appear to show dancers ducking for cover and running out on the streets to safety.

“This is a very, very sad situation. Tryna get my head around it still. Thoughts and condolences to all affected,” Scottish DJ Jackmaster, who was performing at BPM, said on Twitter.

The BPM festival, which was entering its 10th year, has grown to be one of the biggest electronic music events in the world, with top DJs flying in every January to play the clubs of Playa del Carmen along Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

In recent years, Mexico’s Caribbean coast has drawn a growing number of DJs and fans of electronic music to the beautiful, balmy region, looking to escape the frigid European and North American winters.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by James Dalgleish and Nick Zieminski)

Heads up out there, lighting, sound, video, and deck hands.

Hat tips:
http://thebpmfestival.com/

https://apnews.com/a7d403c2c64846e689c6b49360cb4b6f

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/88477487/Several-dead-after-gunfire-at-BPM-music-festival-in-Mexico-Australian-DJ-says

http://abc7.com/news/5-killed-15-hurt-in-shooting-at-nightclub-in-mexico/1704698/

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence-bpm-idUSKBN1501LE

42 People Injured at Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa Show

snoop-dogg-accident

42 people were confirmed to have been injured this weekend at a Snoop Dogg and Whiz Khalifa show in Camden, New Jersey at the BB&T Pavilion.  The tour is the Merry Jane Presents Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa: The High Road Tour — which is still kicking.  Reports from the scene said no one was killed in the ten foot fall onto concrete, but there were a few pretty serious injuries.

A spokesman from city of Camden said the venue is all up-to-date on all inspections and has no outstanding violations.

This is crazy video — it’s like a waterfall of people happened.

From New Jersey:

A railing collapse at a concert headlined by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa at BB&T Pavilion injured at least 42 people, authorities said.

The collapse occurred just before 10:30 p.m. when one of the railings on a platform in front of the stage snapped, according to Camden County police. It is unclear at this time what caused it to break.

The injured fans, many of whom had piled on top of each other, were taken to area hospitals, police said. Some fans fell 10 feet onto a concrete walkway below.

According to Camden County Police spokesman Dan Keashen, one person was in serious but stable condition after suffering from an upper-body injury.

The injured person was taken to Cooper University Hospital.

Other injuries included broken bones, according to authorities.

The artists were escorted off the stage after the collapse, and organizers halted the concert about 20 minutes after the railing collapse.

Snoop Dog or Wiz Khalifa was on the secondary stage at the venue at the time of the collapse and was gesturing people to move toward the stage on the lawn and when fans rushed toward the railing, it snapped and collapsed, according to Keashen.

Crazy.  Check this out:

Another angle:

Accident Aftermath with first-responders:

From Philly.com:

Rhonda Wexler, a Cooper University Hospital spokeswoman, said Saturday that the hospital received 20 patients with minor injuries, who were all treated and released. She said one patient had to go to the trauma unit, but that was only because all beds in the adjacent emergency department were taken, and not because of the person’s injuries.

No one was seriously injured, she said. She did not have any information on the types of minor injuries people suffered.

Carol Lynn Daly, spokeswoman for Lourdes Medical Center, said seven people were brought there in stable condition and were all treated and released.

Peggy Leone, a Virtua Camden spokeswoman, said four people were treated there and released. A spokeswoman at Kennedy, Nicole Pensiero, confirmed that three people were treated and released there for minor injuries.

Keashen said his understanding was that Snoop Dogg or Wiz Khalifa, who were on a secondary stage at the venue, was gesturing to people on the lawn to come toward the stage. That’s when people rushed toward the railing and the railing collapsed.

The Camden County Sheriff’s Office is investigating with assistance from the Camden County Police Department, Keashen said.

Hat tips:

http://www.people.com/article/snoop-dogg-wiz-khalifa-concert-injuries-42

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/railing_collapse_at_snoop_dogg_concert_injures_doz.html

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20160806_Snoop_Dogg_concert_stops_shortly_after_railing_collapse.html

http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/06/entertainment/snoop-dogg-concert-injuries/

http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/7461804/snoop-dogg-wiz-khalifa-concert-railing-collapse-video

http://www.bet.com/music/2016/08/06/snoop-dogg-wiz-khalifa.html

 

VIDEO: Massive Stage Fire at Mumbai Political Rally

mumbai-makeinindiaweek-fire

IMAGE: KUNAL PATIL/HINDUSTAN TIMES/GETTY IMAGES

This weekend, a huge stage fire absolutely destroyed equipment, structure, and pretty much everything that it could consume, in Mumbai during a political rally.  These videos are unreal – pay particular attention to the rigging of the gear as it is on fire.

Fortunately, the news is saying no one was reported hurt.  Bollywood rockstars Amitabh Bachchan (who tweeted a TON during the fire) and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were on stage moments before the fire began:

From an article at The Indian Express:

The fire started just after the performance of actor Amitabh Bachchan. It spread rapidly, spread by a strong wind till the whole stage – a creation of Bollywood  set designer  Nitin Desai — was gutted.

“I was waiting in my make-up van. My performance was in an hour. Then my staff told me that there is a fire. So, I stepped out to see. And sure enough the stage was on fire. And it’s so windy the fire spread at an alarming speed,” said actor Aamir Khan.

“The event was underway when fire broke out, we ran to save our lives. We don’t know the reason for the fire,” said an eyewitness.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Make in India Week yesterday as a showcase event for the government’s flagship manufacturing scheme.

Ugh.  Look at this:

Some photos — the initial post was here at ProLightingSpace, check it out:

mumbai-makeinindiaweek-fire

make-in-india-week-fire-accident-3

make-in-india-week-fire-accident-2

make-in-india-week-fire-accident-1

make-in-india-week-fire-accident-5

A massive fire broke out on Sunday evening during a cultural programme at Make In India week event in Mumbai. The fire broke out below the stage during the programme.Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and governor C Vidyasagar Rao who were present during the programme were quickly moved out of the area. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar,Mumbai, 14/02/2016

From an article at The Hindu — heads up, this link sucks in Chrome for some reason.

Around 8.20 p.m. on Sunday, fire broke out under the stage when a troupe of dancers was performing on the stage. Police personnel immediately rushed towards the stage bringing the performance to a halt. The strong evening wind fanned the fire and within seconds the entire stage along with the strobe lights were engulfed in a billowing blaze. Sounds of explosions were heard due to the presence of gas cylinders at the venue.

Chaos reigned, and within minutes thousands of spectators who were spread over the beach enclosure made a quick dash for the exits and were evacuated from the spot. The Mumbai Police and Mumbai Fire Brigade took control of the evacuation and of dousing the fire respectively.

Four fire tenders were at the spot and 14 more were rushed to Chowpatty, along with 10 water tankers and eight jumbo tankers. The police barricaded the area and diverted traffic. Chief Fire officer P. Rahangdale said the fire was controlled in 38 minutes. Around 8:56 pm, Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, told Mr. Fadnavis, “All well.”

The Bombay High Court had denied permission for the event. However, the Maharashtra government sought the Supreme Court’s nod for the event.

A visibly shaken Chief Minister called the incident “extremely unfortunate” and ordered “a comprehensive inquiry” into the cause of the fire. “It is extremely unfortunate as an important cultural event was being held. We began the evacuation process immediately. All the civilians and artists were safely evacuated. A fire audit of the event was conducted four days ago and a disaster management plan was prepared. We have ordered an inquiry into the causes of the fire, to find out if there were any lapses and if SOPs (standard operating procedures) were followed. Further action will be taken based on the probe. There was a spark under the stage and because there was cloth and wood, it spread rapidly,” Mr Fadnavis told reporters.

The incident has cast a shadow on the Make In India Week, the Centre’s big ticket investment programme for Maharashtra, though Mr. Fadnavis assured that it will not impact the event. “A comprehensive inquiry into the incidence of fire will be conducted to ascertain reasons,” Mr. Fadnavis tweeted. “All Make In India programmes will be conducted as scheduled.”

A massive fire broke out on Sunday evening during a cultural programme at Make In India week event in Mumbai. The fire broke out below the stage during the programme.Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and governor C Vidyasagar Rao who were present during the programme were quickly moved out of the area. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar,Mumbai, 14/02/2016

mumbai-fire

 

 

 

 

makeinindia-fire

A massive fire broke out on Sunday evening during a cultural programme at Make In India week event in Mumbai. The fire broke out below the stage during the programme.Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and governor C Vidyasagar Rao who were present during the programme were quickly moved out of the area. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar,Mumbai, 14/02/2016

A massive fire broke out on Sunday evening during a cultural programme at Make In India week event in Mumbai. The fire broke out below the stage during the programme.Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and governor C Vidyasagar Rao who were present during the programme were quickly moved out of the area. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar,Mumbai, 14/02/2016

A massive fire broke out on Sunday evening during a cultural programme at Make In India week event in Mumbai. The fire broke out below the stage during the programme.Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and governor C Vidyasagar Rao who were present during the programme were quickly moved out of the area. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar,Mumbai, 14/02/2016

A massive fire broke out on Sunday evening during a cultural programme at Make In India week event in Mumbai. The fire broke out below the stage during the programme.Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and governor C Vidyasagar Rao who were present during the programme were quickly moved out of the area. Express Photos by Pradip Das,14/02/16,Mumbai

LAMB OF GOD’s Gear Truck Took A Tumble

GAH!  Metal band Lamb of God experienced some crap on February 7, 2016 when their gear truck flipped over on I-37 in Texas.  Apparently the highway was closed for several hours while the gear was collected and taken off the roadway.  No one knows the reason, but their gear took a hit, which sucks.  Lamb of God’s tour is almost finished, too, which double sucks!

lamb-of-god-gear-truck

I have been reading articles about this accident and how everyone is making a HUGE deal out of it.  People who are NOT in the industry — it’s more than likely that there was insurance on every single piece of that gear, and it will be replaced really quickly.  Perhaps if there were some instruments in that truck that were damages that’s gonna be a shame, but you can rest assured that the band will keep kicking your ass and they’ll have new gear.

Reports are conflicting about what happened to the driver, but decidedly he is A-OK and alive.  A few say that he broke an arm and had a few cuts and bruises, other reports say no injuries at all, which would obviously be ideal.

Some images of the accident, it’s kinda just a truck flipped over, but it’s history.  We’re glad to hear everyone is OK, and Lamb of God is finishing their dates with Anthrax, Deafheaven, and Power Trip.

Some images, mostly from guitar player Mark Morton, but also a few from tour manager Darren Sanders.

mark_morton_LoG_img

mark_morton_LoG_img2

mark_morton_LoG_img3

ALL RIGHTS @ D. Randall Blythe

ALL RIGHTS @ D. Randall Blythe

ALL RIGHTS @ D. Randall Blythe

ALL RIGHTS @ D. Randall Blythe

More readage for you:

http://loudwire.com/lamb-of-god-gear-damaged-18-wheeler-accident/

http://lambgoat.com/news/26094/Lamb-Of-God-gear-damaged-in-truck-accident

http://www.metalinsider.net/metal-on-metal/lamb-of-gods-gear-damaged-driver-injured-in-truck-accident

 

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO – Shawn London, FOH Audio for Eagles of Death Metal and Le Bataclan Attack Survivor, Speaks to JimOnLight

We’re honored to have a life-changing video to share.  I wish it were about something cool like Rate masters or inhibitive submasters used to protect certain parts of your effects live, but no…

This is Shawn London.  Shawn reached out to us here to tell his story of the coward Daesh attack on Paris, he was mixing audio at FOH when these assholes came into the venue and started killing people.  Once you watch this video, once you hear how Shawn was shot at several times, how he had to hear the pleas of people being purely executed, and how he got out while saving a life or two beyond his own…  you may have a change in heart in the way you do things.

These assholes blocked the exits, you guys.  They were executing people trying to escape.  Shawn will explain to you all of this, please watch his frankly horrifying account while standing behind a Midas Verona at the Le Bataclan when the bullets started flying.

In addition to the JimOnLight.com video with Shawn, Eagles of Death Metal was interviewed by Vice News founder Shane Smith.  I’ve been watching Vice since that great network started, I’ve tried to model a lot of the ballsiness of Vice’s, well, ballsiness, into the posting on JimOnLight over the years because those who work in our various lighting industries are usually pretty no-bullshit.  This second video is raw too, the band is glad to be alive and pretty destroyed that this happened, as you would imagine.  Hang in there though, there is real talk in this video too.

If you cannot watch this one, please don’t watch the first one.  But please, put on some adult underwear and save your life.  Learn from their experiences.  We humans SUCK at not repeating the history we all suffer through, so let’s make this the last time I have to give an interview like this.

What If I’m Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer, Part 3

Please be warned, this post contains graphic imagery of death.

This is a multi-part series on JimOnLight.com on what to do if someone comes into your gig shooting at you.  This is by no means the answer, or even an answer.  Every situation is different, everything that can go wrong will go wrong (as we all know in Entertainment alone), and the information and interviews here are meant solely to help you be less unprepared.  Very few of us out there in the field have the kind of training that it actually takes to combat people who are hell bent on killing us.  This article series is just meant to give you things to think about in order to put your head in the game.  Use this information at your own risk and with steadfast understanding that if you’re attacked at a gig, it is you who will be responsible for you.

graphic_image

Part 1 and Part 2 talk about Situational Awareness, and what to do when you’re faced with an Active Shooter Event.  That means when you’re at work and some asshole comes in firing at people.  The Situational Awareness part comes from having your head out of your phone and watching what’s going on around you to notice that there’s an Active Shooter in your gig.

We’ve also learned that the best things to to are to GET OUT OF THAT SITUATION AND OUT OF THE BUILDING AS QUICKLY AND SAFELY AS POSSIBLE.

We’ve learned that there is no reason for you untrained cowboys out there with concealed carry permits to insert yourself into a situation, it’s most likely going to end up with me writing a story about you on JimOnLight, and tens of thousands of people are going to like it, comment on it, say how nice you were when you when they worked with you…  but you’ll still be dead.  People bent on death don’t think or train past the moment of your death, it is best to JUST GET THE FUCK OUT.

I’m super glad to have gotten Brendon’s thoughts on what’s been going on out there — if you sit down with Grimey at a show, he’s actually quite a knowledgeable guy and his company kicks ass.

grimey

Brendon Grimes at the base of Entebbe Tower

JimOnLight:
Grimey, you spent time in complete shitholes during conflict.  What are your thoughts as to everything that’s gone down in the last 6 months?

Brendon Grimes:
“The recent terrorist attacks in Paris fall in line with so many other attacks throughout the world. It saddens me to see any of this happen, yet I am still amazed to see how many individuals that live with their heads in the ground about this real and dangerous threat. Almost as if it does not pertain to them.”

“I know that every terror attack somehow affects me. I’ve spent 20 years in the United States Air Force, as an MC-130H Combat Mission Loadmaster. I have had so many great experiences, and met so many great people and friends over that time. I have traveled to well over 100 Countries around the world, during which time I always recognized that I was there as a representative of the USA. This meant that I followed and obeyed the host Countries laws and respected their practices or beliefs. OK, I admit there may have been a few Countries that I visited that we were only there for a short period of time, and it was to ‘correct’ their policies, or administer our policy. However, for the most part, we always respected the host Nations policies, just like tourists or visiting Tours should do.”

JimOnLight:
Do you think that your career has prepared you for the threats that we face today?  Are those threats real, or are we going all ‘prepper’ on the business?

“I served a distinguished career, retiring with an honorable discharge.  So now we have the same threat that has affected the entertainment industry, and an entire new group of individuals believe that maybe, just maybe, this threat is real, and could involve them.  The threat is global, the threat is real, and it is not only aimed at Americans, but against Western civilizations and beliefs. So maybe a reminder every once and awhile is in order, the below list contains just a few of a very long list, but these attacks were against Americans, or killed Americans:

“So, you ask my opinions regarding recent terrorist events because of my military background?  Well this is nothing new to me.  I am discouraged that our political leadership has failed to take appropriate actions over the past several years.  I am very concerned that Americas trend towards ‘Political Correctness’ has taken us down a path that has no easy return.  This problem is not America’s problem, it is the World’s problem.  Each and every one of us have a responsibility to stand up against terrorism, and fight for basic human rights.  Nearly 30 years ago, I took a sworn oath to defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That oath did not have a expiration date, and today I still stand against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

JimOnLight:
Ok brother, let’s put your brain through these questions.  Starting with number one – If you were at a show at FOH in a venue like that of Le Bataclan and attackers burst in with automatic weapons, what are the first and second things that would be going through a trained mind like yours?  

Brendon Grimes:
“Remain Calm, take cover and identify the threat, then take appropriate action.” 

JimOnLight:
Now imagine that question with AND without a sidearm, and how you would react differently.

Brendon Grimes:
“I’d still take appropriate action.  I’d take cover.  Though, I might use tools at hand such as lighting and audio to confuse and disorient the attackers.  I believe that as long as we allow the threat of terror to exist, we will continue to see changes in the ways public events are handled. Specific guidelines for patrons, and venue staff. Kevlar matting built into crowd barriers, snipers or armed security at larger public events, there are many possibilities.”

JimOnLight:
Considering our environment and the various things we have to use as cover and concealment, can you recommend what to use and what not to use?  Obviously a rolling dimmer rack would probably provide more protection than a wardrobe case, for example — What would you go for?

Brendon Grimes:
“This would completely depend on where I was at in the venue.  Many people don’t realize the benefit of hitting the ground and lying flat.  However, any flight case would work to start because you become out of sight.  Heavier cases such as cable trunks, stage decking, and so forth obviously would be better to hide behind, but in reality, whatever you can do to make yourself a smaller target is the best option.”

JimOnLight:
What are your thoughts generally on protection inside of venues by crew personnel?  Do you think that our own protection is something that we need to take on at this point in our industry?  How do you feel about arming ourselves at gigs?

Brendon Grimes:
“I know several crew members that have concealed carry permits, and some that don’t, both of whom carry concealed fire arms. Some crew have actual weapons safes in their touring work box. They normally do not carry while loading in/out as the threat is lower, however once they sit back into go mode such as at a FOH position they sometimes arm themselves. I have been told by one freelance technician named ‘Levi’ that he carries depending on his feelings towards his own personal safety at each event.”

It is not my belief that it is our responsibility as touring crew to provide security for the events we work.  I also believe that I cannot depend on anyone else to defend me, however I expect to be provided a safe environment to work in.  So as we have seen, this is not always the case.  While not creating an argument over second amendment rights, I do believe that anyone who wishes to provide additional protection for themselves in the form of weaponry, needs to be fully trained, and qualified to do so, and this means maintaining safe practice and regular training. As some of these weapons can be more harmful in the wrong hands.”


Brendon Grimes laid out some serious dead rules for what he thinks is appropriate action.  Notice though, he goes straight into the most important thing first — GET DOWN, GET COVERED, GET OUT.  We’re on Part 3 here, and this is still the main theme.  When someone attacks your gig, GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT — and take as many people as you can.

Ok, some real talk…

Here’s what an AK-47 looks like pointed towards you:

AK-47-aimed-at-you

Here’s an AK-47 with and without a man-targeter on the front of it.  There is no mistake that you have a deadly weapon pointed at you:

EOtech-sight-AK

SO when you see ANY of those things at a gig out of place…  What are you going to do?  Especially while not carrying a firearm, which should not be our responsibility at the gig in the first place?

  • YOU ARE GOING TO GET DOWN
  • YOU ARE GOING TO GET OUT AS FAST AS SAFELY AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT PANICKING
  • YOU ARE NOT GOING TO PLAY HERO, YOU ARE GETTING THE FUCK OUT
  • If you CANNOT INSTANTLY GET OUT, YOU ARE GOING TO HIDE AND STAY HIDDEN UNTIL YOU CAN GET OUT
  • WHEN YOU CAN GET OUT, YOU’RE GOING TO GET OUT
  • ONCE YOU’RE OUT — CALL THE LOCAL EMERGENCY NUMBER
  • IF YOU CANNOT GET OUT – HIDE UNTIL YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE

LET’S JUST SAY that you’re carrying your legal sidearm at a gig or on a tour, and some terror douches come into your gig, shooting up people and firing indiscriminately into the crowd. What are you going to do?  If you have ignored the four military minds here stating for you to GET OUT OF THAT PLACE AND DON’T ENGAGE, and you are going to take your own life and those around you into your own hands like some kind of hero, what are you going to do?

Rick Reeves in Part 2 mentions that “there is one exception:  If you have a gun that you can get out without being noticed, and there is a bad guy 7 feet in front of you with his back to you, and you KNOW you cannot miss from 7 feet, shoot him.  Then take all of the rest of the advice I gave you.”  The rest of Rick’s advice was GETTING OUT AND TAKING AS MANY PEOPLE OUT AS YOU CAN GET.

For all of you cowboys out there who think you’re going to save the world when the shit hits the fan — and this is coming from a person who owns, maintains, and practices operating his weapons systems — please know that there are so many things you could do by pulling your sidearm that could cause people around you to get shot.  Here’s a few scenarios:

  • You’re in an actual Active Shooter situation, and you were too gung-ho about pulling your gun out so you were identified by the gunmen, so now you and all of the innocents around you are going to be the victim to a hail of bullets, all because you wanted to be a hero.
  • You THINK you’re in an active shooter situation…  and you pulling out your pistol gets you shot dead because others around you were also quick on the draw and not so quick on the intellectual steps following up to even unsnapping your trigger guard.  Mistaken identity, friendly fire.  You’re still dead as shit.
  • Same situation, you THINK you’re in an Active Shooter situation, and the police onsite mistake you for the shooter.  You’re fucking dead.  Have you watched the news lately?  Police are NOT AFRAID to shoot you, they are protecting their own lives and managing their own agendas.  Not all, but many.  Oh, and they’re trained to land their lead into you.  Repeatedly.
  • Let’s say you’re fortunate enough to not only have some excellent cover, but to be excellent under fire.  What if you miss?  What if you miss and you make the attackers aware to your location?  Can you shoot back under a hail of automatic gunfire?  Chances are, if people are storming some place that is going to have a ton of people in it, they’re going to have some kind of multi-round-firing, high magazine capacity device.  The largest concealed carry magazine I can fit in my pants in .45 is 9 rounds.  In 9mm, I carry 10 rounds on me, and in .40, I carry 8.  Do any of those match up to 30 rounds per clip of assault rifle ammunition?  No, they do not.  You will get shot dead.

IF YOUR BOSSES ALLOW YOU TO CARRY CONCEALED AS PER YOUR PERMITTED STATUS ALLOWS, you should already know the next four rules I am going to list.  If you haven’t heard of these four rules and you’re carrying, please go put a trigger lock on your pistol, lock that bitch up, and sign up for a Pistol Safety and Self Defense course quick.

These four rules make sure that you don’t have accidents.  People cleaning their guns who shoot themselves are full of shit, they did not follow the Four Rules of Firearm Safety.  If you are dead set on deterring or defeating the threat in an active shooter situation and there are not already TRAINED ASSAULTING FORCES aiding in your rescue…  You have GOT to remember…

THE FOUR RULES OF FIREARM OPERATION AND SAFETY

  1. TREAT EVERY FIREARM LIKE IT IS LOADED, EVEN WHEN YOU ARE SURE IT IS NOT.
  2. NEVER, EVER POINT THE MUZZLE (THE END WITH THE HOLE) OF THE FIREARM AT ANYTHING YOU’RE NOT COMPLETELY WILLING TO DESTROY
  3. NEVER EVEN PUT YOUR FINGER ON THE TRIGGER OF A FIREARM UNLESS YOU ARE READY AND WILLING TO FIRE
  4. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS:  BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET, AND WHAT IS BEYOND YOUR TARGET

The last rule is so extremely important when you think you want to be a cowboy in an active shooter situation.  When you miss while dodging automatic weapon fire after feeling the need to shoot back INSTEAD OF GETTING THE HELL OUT, what happens if you kill an innocent bystander?  That isn’t collateral damage of war, you’re not a trained fighter.  You just killed someone’s mom, dad, sister, brother, wife, husband, lover, friend.  Dead.  It would have been better to lie flat, and get out.

Also, you’re not trained in determining who and what is a suspicious target, nor is it your responsibility.

But… when all else fails — police security, private security hires, private contractors, local security…  when all of that is exhausted and you find yourself in a situation where you and other people are going to die because a terrorist attacker is about on you, do whatever you can do to keep hidden and safe and get out.  Or, when all of those options are exhausted and the terrorist assholes are bearing down on your position, do whatever you can do.  If you have a sidearm, use it safely while watching that you’re not going to make some additional innocent people collateral damage.  But you better be goddamned sure that if you start shooting, you knew you had no other option but to die.  That’s why we can have Concealed Weapons permits.

Things to read:  FEMA’s ACTIVE SHOOTER Guide and ALICE Active Shooter Training

ALICE is actually a pretty cool acronym:

  • ALERT:  Use Plain and Specific Language.  Avoid Code Words.
  • LOCKDOWN:  Barricade the Room. Silence Mobile Devices.  Prepare to EVACUATE or COUNTER if Needed.
  • INFORM.  Communicate the Shooter’s Location in Real Time.
  • COUNTER.  Create Noise, Movement, Distance and Distraction with the Intent of Reducing the Shooter’s Ability to Shoot Accurately.
  • EVACUATE.  When Safe to Do So, Remove Yourself from the Danger Zone.

More things in mind that tell you NOT TO STICK AROUND unless you are TRAPPED.  GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT OF THE LINE OF FIRE.

Quick links:

Patrick Dierson Interview, Part 1
What If I’m Attacked at Work?  A Crew Primer

Rick Reeves and Matt Hazard, Part 2
What If I’m Attacked at Work?  A Crew Primer

Brendon Grimes, Part 3
What If I’m Attacked at Work?  A Crew Primer

What If I’m Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer, Part 2

This is a multi-part series on JimOnLight.com on what to do if someone comes into your gig shooting at you.  This is by no means the answer, or even an answer.  Every situation is different, everything that can go wrong will go wrong (as we all know in Entertainment alone), and the information and interviews here are meant solely to help you be less unprepared.  Very few of us out there in the field have the kind of training that it actually takes to combat people who are hell bent on killing us.  This article series is just meant to give you things to think about in order to put your head in the game.  Use this information at your own risk and with steadfast understanding that if you’re attacked at a gig, it is you who will be responsible for you.

graphic_image

Folks, that’s real talk right there without saying a word.  I want to make sure that you know how real this shit really is.  Our “western society” was attacked on Friday the 13th, November 2015 in Paris.  over a hundred people lost their lives in an instant or two by some coward Daesh ISIS terrorists, most of whom are dead now with one still on the run as of 15:41, November 18.  They came into a concert hall with a concert going on, killed crew and audience, indiscriminately.

In Part 1 of this series about protecting yourself at a gig, we talked with Patrick Dierson about what he thought was the most important points to be discussed, and more than anything he says that, when you’re attacked at work, the most important thing to do is to GET OUT OF THERE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, and to take as many people with you as you can get.  Very good advice, I say.  I also reached out to two people who have had major influences in my life — my grad student lighting studio supervisor at The Ohio State University Matt Hazard, who was involved in Marine Intelligence back in Serbia and Croatia when Milosevic was douchebagging around the region indiscriminately killing people (and is himself a hell of a lighting tech and designer), and production designer Rick Reeves, who was with Navy Security teams during the Iraq wars, having been a member of CENTCOM and MNF-I.  Both of these men have seen combat.  Neither of them recommend sticking around when the bullets are flying.

Just to kind of paraphrase what Patrick Dierson said in Part 1 before we move on to hear what Matt Hazard and Rick Reeves had to say…  If the shit hits the fan:

  • Get behind something quickly
  • Don’t get shot
  • Get outta there, and take people with you.
  • Don’t be a hero.  Don’t PLAY a hero either, you might get yourself shot.
  • Leave your gun at home, or keep your gun in your pants and get the hell out.
  • Also, GET OUT OF THERE

hazard

Don’t let his sweet goofball face fool you, Matt Hazard is one awesome lighting professional. And he also used to be a hitter for the US Marines Recon Force

This is Matt Hazard; Matt helped me learn that I had it within me to suck it the fuck up on a few occasions.  He’s the Lighting Studio Manager at The Ohio State University, he was my “drill sergeant” when I was in graduate school.  Well, really Mary Tarantino was both of our drill sergeant, but she’s tough all on her own.  Hazard was a Recon Marine who served in Kosovo when Milosevic was douchebagging around the region indiscriminately killing people (and is himself one hell of an ETCP-certified lighting tech, AND designer).

Lighting Design by Matt Hazard

Lighting Design by Matt Hazard

JimOnLight:
“Matt, thanks a lot for this, and for talking to me about such a distressing thing.  I have to ask you up front — what do you see when you see the photo aftermath of this mess?”

Matt Hazard:
“I’m guessing that FOH was in the back on the floor.  That’s my guess from looking at all of the attached pics.  If the fuckers with AKs came in the back of the floor, the FOH would have been one of the first things they saw.  The Twitter shot from the balcony looks like it might show the FOH in the bottom left of the pic. Pretty gruesome pic, that venue reminds of the Newport here in Columbus [Ohio].”

Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH -- very similar size and layout to Le Bataclan in Paris

Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH — very similar size and layout to Le Bataclan in Paris

“I’m trying to think what I’d do in that situation.  Most likely, you have zero time to react.  If crazy fuckers come in, they’ve likely blown by or shot the security staff to gain access.  If when they got to the floor and the first people they saw were the FOH ops, then that might have been where they began — I am entirely speculating here.  The first reaction would probably be incredible surprise: what am I looking at?  A guy with an AK-47?  It’s just not something you expect to see at a concert.  Loud noises are common place, although when the rounds begin cracking off, it would certainly stand out. I read that the band heard the shots and headed backstage. I think that is the natural reaction: seek cover and don’t get shot. Unfortunately, at a typical FOH, there’s not a whole lot of room to hide.”

le-bataclan-attackers

How the attack went down — and how some escaped

JimOnLight:
“Where do you think the responsibility for security lies in our shows?  Are we at at a point where we should be concerned with handling firearms as part of our kit?  Is that just stupid?”

Matt Hazard:
“Three summers ago, I had to help eject a guy from the FOH tent here in Columbus at an outdoor Skrillex show, I was hanging with the crew.  The promoters had not provided any sort of barrier or security for the FOH tent, and people were pushing up on it the entire show.  I kept an eye on the guy because his behavior was not what it should be. He eventually got pissed at the sound guy who kept telling him to back off and punched him. I grabbed his arms and pushed him out, but there was no security or police to take the idiot away.”

“Drunk idiots are an entirely different ball game from what happened in Paris.  I’m not sure if there is anything that could have been done to protect the tech staff at the venue.  Speculation is difficult as is asking yourself, ‘what would I have done?’  If you did have a gun and you did have the training, it is possible that you could have recognized the threat and fought back.  Will venues hire armed security guards if they think they might be targeted?  I’m not sure how many venues would condone their operators carrying weapons.”

“Something else to thing about,” Hazard adds, “We had a concert shooting here in Columbus years ago, at Alrosa Villa…  Five people were killed, including the gunman.  One was a performer on stage, one was a club security guard, another was a club employee, and the final was a patron. It’s a much different story with a much different outcome, but it shows that public places are simply vulnerable targets.  Keep your head up when you’re out.”

JimOnLight:
Anything else you can think of to add?

Matt Hazard:
“The main thing I want to convey is that the folks who work shows a lot will probably notice things, people, behavior that is out of the ordinary.  But even with that, you just cannot be prepared for everything and anything and the crazy fuckers.”  

More Matt Hazard, LD

More Matt Hazard, LD


I asked Rick Reeves the same questions, same results.  Rick is a production designer, quite talented with projection, and is known to do some lighting here and there, or actually every day since he’s back in grad school after working at the famous OU in Norman, Oklahoma where I met him, shaping minds, eating burritos, drinking margaritas.  This was Rick back in his service days:

Yes, that's Rick Reeves, yes, that's an M-60 he's slinging, and yes, those are his massive balls he's standing on

Yes, that’s Rick Reeves, yes, that’s an M-60 he’s slinging, and yes, those are his massive balls he’s standing on

I asked Rick the three questions, but Rick is also a good friend, so I tended to be a bit more to the point and he replied as such.

JimOnLight:
Rick.  What do you think would happen if production crew started arming themselves?  Would this lead to a huge game of who can be the biggest cowboy?

Rick Reeves:
“Cowboys?  There is no room in the world of an active shooter (terrorist) attack for cowboys.  ISIS does not pick these guys up off of the street on the way to an attack and give them a gun, they go to terrorist boot camp.  Do you know what they learn at terrorist boot camp?  How to kill YOU.  They people that are carrying out these attacks are highly trained individuals, probably with decent weaponry.  If you have no, or little, training, get out of Dodge.  You will not win.  I don’t care if you have a weapon or not, your primary goal should be to get out, or stay out of the line of fire.
Also, these guys will probably have automatic weapons and the best you will have is a handgun. A handgun is no match for an automatic weapon, you will lose.”

JimOnLight:
Jesus.  That is right to the point, my friend.

Rick Reeves:
“This is no game.  These people are trained and led by their fierce ideology.”

JimOnLight:
How do I even begin to think like you?  What goes in your head when you enter a building considering the training you have?

Rick Reeves:
“My protective service training puts me in the habit of knowing what two exits are available to me at all times.  When you walk into a building for the first time, remember how to get out, and then find a second way out. This isn’t just good for terrorists, but for fires. It can help keep you alive.  SO, KNOW TWO EXITS.  Also, the biggest thing to do in any situation is to keep calm.  Panic causes people to make mistakes. Minimize panic and you will minimize your mistakes.”

JimOnLight:
What would you do if you heard some gunshots all of the sudden in the theatre, or the arena, you know?  What if someone starts shooting up the gig?  What’s the first objective?

Rick Reeves:
If you confirm gunshots, your objective should be to get to one of those exits you remembered with the least amount of resistance.  If you can help people move the same direction, do so.  But there is no sense in risking your life at this point. If you cannot safely exit the area, find cover and do NOT attract attention to yourself.  Don’t rush, but exit when you are able, but until then, HIDE!”

JimOnLight:
Is there any room for heroism in these situations, or is that just some thinking that would get more of us killed?

Rick Reeves:
“The only way I am going to be a hero is if I am guaranteed success AND it is for sure going to get me laid.  Both big ifs.  Once you are safe, call 911 or whatever emergency service you can.  Know the emergency number for the country you are in, everyone doesn’t use 911.”

Don Giovanni-Scenic, Lighting, and Projection by Me. Costumes and photograph Kasey Allee-Foreman, Director William Ferrara

Don Giovanni-Scenic, Lighting, and Projection by Rick Reeves. Costumes and photograph by Kasey Allee-Foreman, Director William Ferrara

JimOnLight:
Can you share any advice on watching the crowd or things that might look out of place?  Is this just a common sense thing?

Rick Reeves:
“People up to no good look uncomfortable.  When you are waiting for the show to start, people watch.  Who looks uncomfortable, who looks out of place?  If it is 90 degrees outside and there is a guy with a big coat on?  Big question marks go off in my head. It won’t be that obvious because terrorists are smart and train on blending in, so spotting a bad guy before they do something bad is not easy.”

JimOnLight:
You know me, you know I love my guns.  Help me dispel the bullshit about being a hero at a gig — what can you say to those of us who have concealed carry permits and some training?

Rick Reeves:
“I cannot stress to you enough that these guys are not stupid.

They want to kill you.
They train to kill you.

They have no other goals past this attack.

YOU don’t want to kill anyone.
YOU are not trained to kill anyone. (Maybe to shoot at a paper target, but not kill)
YOU have a lifetime of goals past this attack.

There is one exception:  If you have a gun that you can get out without being noticed, and there is a bad guy 7 feet in front of you with his back to you, and you KNOW you cannot miss from 7 feet, shoot him.  Then take all of the rest of the advice I gave you.”

rick-reeves-massive-balls

Just a reminder that some of those who make the greatest light and art also fought to make sure you can do that same thing right now.


ITEMS OF NOTE – THINGS TO LEARN

EMERGENCY PHONE CODES IN NON-UNITED STATES COUNTRIES

Matt and Rick, I cannot thank you guys enough for both your service, and for sharing your thoughts.

Rick mentioned knowing the EMERGENCY CODES for different countries abroad — so I found that the State Department actually publishes this document!  Here’s a link to that document — 911_ABROAD.  [Direct PDF link when you click]

ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING

Funny enough, this is actually available through FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Administration):
http://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-907

The Department of Homeland Security offers Active Shooter information:
http://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness

Also — a PDF [direct PDF link] on Active Shooter Preparedness and Situational Awareness that you can print out and keep in your show minder from now on, really:

Active Shooter: How to Respond

A few excerpts from the brochure on Active Shooter Situations – and the potential shooters themselves

Employees [or concertgoers/theatregoers] typically do not just “snap,” but display indicators of potentially violent behavior over time. If these behaviors are recognized, they can often be managed and treated. Potentially violent behaviors by an employee may include one or more of the following (this list of behaviors is not comprehensive, nor is it intended as a mechanism for diagnosing violent tendencies):

  • Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
  • Unexplained increase in absenteeism; vague physical complaints
  • Noticeable decrease in attention to appearance and hygiene
  • Depression / withdrawal
  • Resistance and overreaction to changes in policy and procedures
  • Repeated violations of company policies
  • Increased severe mood swings
  • Noticeably unstable, emotional responses
  • Explosive outbursts of anger or rage without provocation
  • Suicidal; comments about “putting things in order”
  • Behavior which is suspect of paranoia, (“everybody is against me”)
  • Increasingly talks of problems at home
  • Escalation of domestic problems into the workplace; talk of severe financial problems
  • Talk of previous incidents of violence
  • Empathy with individuals committing violence
  • Increase in unsolicited comments about firearms, other dangerous weapons and violent crimes

Your human resources department and facility managers should engage in planning for emergency situations, including an active shooter scenario. Planning for emergency situations will help to mitigate the likelihood of an incident by establishing the mechanisms described below.

Human Resources – [should also fall to venue and promoter liability] Responsibilities:

  • Conduct effective employee screening and background checks
  • Create a system for reporting signs of potentially violent behavior
  • Make counseling services available to employees
  • Develop an EAP which includes policies and procedures for dealing with an active shooter situation, as well as after action planning Facility Manager Responsibilities
  • Institute access controls (i.e., keys, security system pass codes)
  • Distribute critical items to appropriate managers / employees, including: – Floor plans – Keys – Facility personnel lists and telephone numbers
  • Coordinate with the facility’s security department to ensure the physical security of the location
  • Assemble crisis kits containing: – radios – floor plans – staff roster, and staff emergency contact numbers – first aid kits – flashlights
  • Place removable floor plans near entrances and exits for emergency responders
  • Activate the emergency notification system when an emergency situation occurs

Reactions of Managers During an Active Shooter Situation:

  • Employees and customers are likely to follow the lead of managers during an emergency situation.
  • During an emergency, managers should be familiar with their EAP, and be prepared to:
    * Take immediate action
    * Remain calm
    * Lock and barricade doors
    * Evacuate staff and customers via a preplanned evacuation route to a safe area

Sounds pretty similar huh?  GET OUT OF THERE, AS CALMLY AND QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.  AND DON’T GET SHOT BEING A HERO.

The FBI, for example, has put out a video called RUN, HIDE, FIGHT:  Surviving an Active Shooter Event:

If you watched that video, you’d know that our Federal Bureau of Investigation says to RUN THE FUCK AWAY first.  If you can’t do that safely, then HIDE YOURSELF AND OTHERS.  If all else fails and you’re concealed but the gunman or gunmen is coming to kill you, FIGHT TO THE DEATH TO INCAPACITATE THAT BASTARD or BASTARDS.

We need to talk to Grimey about some stuff now.  Matt and Rick, thank you for your service and for being Entertainment Industry players!

active-shooter-FBI

MOVE ON to Part 3 of
What If I’m Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer

What If I’m Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer, Part 1

Heads up folks, this post contains graphic imagery of death.

This is a multi-part series on JimOnLight.com on what to do if someone comes into your gig shooting at you.  This is by no means the answer, or even an answer.  Every situation is different, everything that can go wrong will go wrong (as we all know in Entertainment alone), and the information and interviews here are meant solely to help you be less unprepared.  Very few of us out there in the field have the kind of training that it actually takes to combat people who are hell bent on killing us.  This article series is just meant to give you things to think about in order to put your head in the game.  Use this information at your own risk and with steadfast understanding that if you’re attacked at a gig, it is you who will be responsible for you.

paris-police-terror-attacks

Many people in our business are asking this very question right this minute at their gigs after the Friday the 13th terror attacks in Paris:
What if I’m attacked at work???  What do we do if somebody comes into our gig shooting?  What if they have a bomb?

This is what happened at last Friday’s Daesh ISIS coward rampage:

le-bataclan-attackers

In Paris last Friday, 13 November 2015, a few jihadi cowards stormed into Le Bataclan and murdered scores of people with AK-47’s.  At FOH, the house lighting tech, Nathalie Jardin, took rounds and died form her injuries.  Merchandiser Nick Alexander died from his gunshots onsite.  They were just at work, doing what they loved, making the almighty dollar, but mostly digging the journey that we call Entertainment.

When it really comes down to it, can you actually be prepared at work AND do your job to the extent you need to do it?  Can you be banging on playbacks and running your rate master on that cool effect, or watching that the bass player doesn’t loudly hoark into his mic again, or making sure that everyone has the right monitor mix, or that the media servers are happy…  all the while looking out for someone or a group of someones who look out of the ordinary and preparing yourself for what to do in the event that the shit hits the fan?

I cannot.  I cannot do both of those things, admittedly, and I do not want to try.  I don’t have military training.  I occasionally carry a sidearm onto gigs with me when I have to do something like walk the Fort Lauderdale docks alone at night with a $12,000 console, but really that is the extent of my need to carry at the gig.  I want to go to work and know that I can provide the client with the best possible creative services I can provide, as I’m being paid to do that — I chose this field because it’s fun, mostly safe fun!  But what can we do to protect ourselves in the event that some crazy bastards decide that we’re all going to pay for someone else’s sins so they can placate their need to murder in the name of an ideology?  What do you do at work?  Where do you hide?  How can you get out?

The reality is, folks…  we’re dealing with people who want nothing more beyond the moment of your death to happen, and they are prepared not to live beyond the moment of your death if they have to just to make sure you don’t go on living.  Imagine how much time we put in on a production, from design to prep to pack to tour, and instead of spending that time and money on the show, imagine how proficient you could become at killing human beings in the name of an ideology if that’s all you spent your time doing.  That’s what these people are doing — they’re spending their time and money to learn how to kill you.

But… We live in America, right?  There are certainly some states that allow us to carry guns to protect ourselves.  I personally take full advantage of that constitutional right on many occasions around the country legally, as I am a concealed carry permit holder in my state with reciprocity in other states.  I can also handle myself, I’m a hell of a consistently accurate shooter (at man-shaped paper, on a range) and I have some firearms training that I felt was necessary to maintain my concealed carry permit.  The reason I mention those little facts about myself is that I asked myself the same question when I was writing the initial reports of our brothers and sisters being attacked that night.  What would I be doing if someone came into the gig shooting?  Would I be carrying my pistol?  Should I be carrying my pistol at work?  What the hell makes me think now that I’d try to be some kind of hero then?

The reality of 13 November 2015 at Le Bataclan was that the scene went from a full-on show with people having fun rocking to Eagles of Death Metal, the hall probably looked a lot like this below — here’s a shot of the inside of Le Bataclan, packed with people jamming:

bataclan_concert

This is the aftermath of the shooting, and I apologize but it’s gonna be hard to look at, it’s horrifying.

graphic_image

That is a theatre.  That is one of OUR places, you’re supposed to be able to let go inside there.  These poor souls were stolen there, and all they wanted to do was rock.

Let’s be realistic — can you prepare yourself for that to happen?  What are the first and second things you think you would do if someone came in shooting?  It is a fucking terrifying noise, gunfire — and it’s even worse when you’re not expecting it.  I for one have never had the experience of being shot at, or being startled by gunfire because I have never been in an uncontrolled environment where gunfire occurred suddenly.

Listen to this footage — watch the drummer dive for cover, this is from close to the stage at Le Bataclan right as the shooting started happening:

Ok, sorry but that is terrifying.  The sound of 7.62×39 rounds, which are AK-47 rounds, are distinct, powerful, and frightening.  These terrorist pieces of garbage came in with fully automatic firing assault rifles, which means when they hold in the trigger, the full-metal jacketed bullets come flying out of the gun until they let go of that trigger.  Here’s what they look like unfired — I have an AK, but mine is a semi-automatic WASR model made in Bulgaria, like many of these automatic variants — these are surplus military rounds:

7.62x39mm ammunition for the AK-47s used in the murders at Le Bataclan

JimOnLight’s 7.62x39mm ammunition for the AK-47…  the automatic version of this weapon was used in the murders at Le Bataclan

What would you do if chunks of steel and lead were snapping into equipment and people around you while the band was playing and you were working on the show?  Do you have a clue what you think you might do?  I like to fool myself into thinking I have a few ideas about what I would do, but I reached out to some of our industry brothers who have combat experience in various areas of operation across the world.  What they’ve done and where they’ve been is, in their words, unimportant; what is important to these three individuals is that they are Entertainment Industry people, production and lighting designers, all who have had shots fired at them in anger.  I reached out to these three people because they know what it feels like to be in a scary situation, and they have the important training that it takes to survive some really bad scenarios like the one in Paris.

What I think you will be interested, maybe even thrilled to find out, is that each of these three former professional hitters all say the same thing:
GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT OF THERE, GET OUT OF THERE.  GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE — and take as many people with you as you can.

When trained fighters tell you that they would leave a situation like this as quickly as possible while trying to also get as many people around them out as fast as possible, perhaps we all need to take heed.  I’m going to let you be the judge.  I asked three very direct questions to Patrick Dierson, a great, popular production designer with some OGA experience early in his military career (and an even more impressive Entertainment career, frankly); Matt Hazard, a lighting designer and hell of a huge hearted (and footed) man who was in Marine Intel during the reign of Milosevic in Serbia and Croatia; Rick Reeves, a great friend and talented designer who was in Navy Security, having been a member of CENTCOM and MNF-I in his military career; and Brendon Grimes, everybody knows him as Grimey, he owns TSC Productions in Florida. Grimey, a Combat Mission Load Master for two decades, and brings a lot of those experiences to our industry.

  1. If you were at a show at FOH in a venue like that of Le Bataclan and attackers burst in with automatic weapons, what are the first and second things that would be going through a trained mind like yours?  Now imagine that question with AND without a sidearm, and how you would react differently.

  2. Considering our environment and the various things we have to use as cover and concealment, can you recommend what to use and what not to use?  Obviously a rolling dimmer rack would probably provide more protection than a wardrobe case, for example.  What would you go for?

  3. What are your thoughts generally on protection inside of venues by crew personnel?  Do you think that our own protection is something that we need to take on at this point in our industry?  How do you feel about arming ourselves at gigs?

I asked what I thought were pretty straightforward questions that I hoped to address safety issues in a venue if the bullets start flying…  the answers I got were not what I expected, but they are what I need to be expecting, and I think they’re what you need to be expecting.

“Everyone in this business has some tales of harrowing experiences to share,” says Patrick Dierson.  “Some are simply left for a good story while others tell of downright life threatening situations.  Personally, I’ve encountered all sorts of potentially life threatening issues around the globe from being pistol whipped with the rifle butt of a Kalashnikov rifle in West Africa to listening to small arms fire hit the side of our aircraft in South America while landing during a rebel uprising.  In its most extreme case I found myself stepping between the chest of my team’s local Nigerian driver and the muzzle of an 18 year old’s AK-47 in an attempt to keep the driver from getting shot and ultimately denying us exit from the country.  For the record, I do not condone the latter course of action despite the fact that it worked.  And, it stands to be noted that each of these situations happened while under the employ of the entertainment business as a lighting or production designer.”

Video of the people who escaped from the rear exit door of Le Bataclan — heads up, this is gunfire:

“Now, truth be told, what’s required here is not much more than what should normally be expected of an everyday citizen living in a major metropolitan city when we’re discussing situational awareness,” Dierson continued.  “We’re just discussing it here in the sense of sensational acts of terrorism instead of what would normally be considered street crime.  Your level of awareness and self-preparedness shouldn’t have been any less prior to recent events.”

First and foremost, the average citizen should not be feeling as though they need to live in a state of fear.  However, they should always be alert to their surroundings particularly in large crowds.  The military term of keeping your head on swivel isn’t out of line.  You don’t need to be walking around the mall in a serpentine pattern just to get yourself to the next Foot Locker but you should at least know what’s going on around you and your loved ones as well as having the basic directional ability to know where the closest exits are.  In short, get you head out of your cell phone and know what the heck is going on around you.”

You have to admit, Patrick is right.  Whether it’s the airport or the grocery store, we’re literally all staring down at our boobs looking at our phones in an attempt to escape boredom and pass time.  But do you know what is going on around you while you’re schooling a game of Plague, Inc?  We all must have some situational awareness — a good example of a lack of this would be standing in the way of a bunch of people while you’re staring down at your phone and the line you’re in has moved forward several spaces.  We’re kind of all siting targets unless we pick up our heads and pay attention a little bit.

Patrick Dierson, keeping up with his training

Patrick Dierson, keeping up with his training

JimOnLight:
“What do you think about vigilance on the job site?  How prepared do we need to make ourselves?”

Patrick Dierson:
“For the most part, the jobs that we do in the live entertainment industry do not come with the inherent dangers that one would normally find within a combat zone but every once in a while a very unfortunate situation can present itself.  You could easily be forgiven for considering any talk of this nature to be that of an alarmist prepper but the basic fact of the matter is that the world that we live in has changed dramatically over the past decade and, regardless of your political or philosophical views as to why things are the way they are, global citizens that could once consider themselves extremely safe need to err on the side of caution and be much more aware of their surroundings.”

JimOnLight:
“Let’s talk about the second question…  can you give me some examples of how your thought processes would be, armed and unarmed, at a gig?”

Patrick Dierson:
“I’ll clearly state that my actions in the past, whether I’m carrying a firearm or not, have always been the same.  The second you hear weapons being fired in ANY situation your immediate reaction should be to get to cover.  You are not active duty military in a uniform tasked with being offensive protection of the public and therefore you have no legal duty to act otherwise.  Get to cover immediately so that you can ascertain what your next course of action should be.”

JimOnLight:
“What about cover and concealment and all of those terms that not many people understand — can you make sense of that for the readers?”

Patrick Dierson:
“Understand that there is a huge difference between what is considered ‘cover’ versus what is considered ‘concealment.’  Cover offers some level of protection from foreign objects while concealment merely hides you as a target.  You want to move to cover immediately and then start assessing what your exit options are.  You are not concerned with combating an attacker unless the threat is imminently upon your physical being and threatening lethal force.  Your primary concern is to remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.”

“There are a million and one variables that come into this scenario and I am not about to suggest that anyone, armed or not, should entertain inserting themselves deeper into an active shooter situation particularly if you have never had appropriate training in how to handle that type of situation.  Remember that holding a guitar does not make you a guitarist.  The same goes for firearms.  Even if you have undergone extensive training in how to utilize a weapon offensively you still stand a chance of making a bad situation worse by trying to intervene.  The best course of action is to always move yourself and anyone else you can safely assist along to cover followed by a safe exit and then only count on utilizing a weapon as a last attempt to protect your life or that of someone in your immediate vicinity.”

“There is also a very real issue that must be discussed here and that is one of potentially mistaken identity.  If you brandish a weapon in a public situation with the most heroic of possible intentions you may unwittingly make yourself out to be a target for the next ‘hero’ that’s going to try and save the day.  Don’t be that guy.”

JimOnLight:
Considering our environment and the various things we have to use as cover and concealment, can you recommend what to use and what not to use?  Obviously a rolling dimmer rack would probably provide more protection than a wardrobe case, for example.  What would you go for?

Patrick Dierson:
“I’m going for the exit and taking as many innocent people as I can with me.  Any other talk to this simply opens up a ton of speculation on ballistics and what can stop what.  Common sense rules the day.  You’re going to leap frog from the largest and heaviest object that you can find to the next so that you can make your way to an exit and remove yourself from the threat.  Sure a dimmer rack is a great start.  I don’t specify very many conventionals these days so if we’re talking about what my personal situation may be then I’ve probably already put us in jeopardy by the nature of my design style.  The audio boys still like to use heavy stuff so maybe get behind their kit.  In all seriousness, in an arena venue situation, the concrete walls are most likely your safest object to get behind and those walls tend to lead to exits.  There’s not an object on stage that I can rightly imagine being what I would want to seek cover behind to be perfectly honest.  When you know what a 7.62 round can go through you quickly start reassessing what you previously thought could offer you safe haven.  So, once again, get the hell out of the area.”

The sound of an AK-47 firing full-auto:

JimOnLight:
What are your thoughts generally on protection inside of venues by crew personnel?  Do you think that our own protection is something that we need to take on at this point in our industry?  How do you feel about arming ourselves at gigs?

Patrick Dierson:
“Personally, I am very much against crew being armed at gigs.  I’ve got at least one guy on every show that can’t seem to climb a truss without dropping a wrench.  I sure as hell don’t believe that him carrying a firearm is going to help matters on a daily basis.  I would much rather see crew properly trained in CPR, basic first aid, & advanced situational awareness before seeing any of them onsite with a firearm.  If you want to run around a job site with the authority and responsibility that comes along with carrying a firearm then simply shift career paths and go into the security sector.  There’s nothing wrong with that decision in the entertainment industry.  Otherwise, arm yourself with a wrench or console and get back to doing some good, fun work in this fantastic business that we’re in.”

“In any adverse situation, your best defense is your mind.  I’ve existed for many years in what military jargon calls NPEs or Non-Permissive Environments.  These are areas where you are not permitted to have a weapon and being caught with one would hold various levels of both mission failure and punishment from local authorities.  You’re trained to utilized improvised weapons if one is actually needed but 99% of the time all you really need is your mind.  Keep your wits about you, learn how to handle unexpectedly chaotic situations, and keep yourself focused on staying safe.  Be alert to your surroundings.  If you see something suspicious then absolutely say something to the appropriate people in charge and let them handle it.  You’re a specialist in what you do and you’re trusted to do that job.  Trust in those that are trained to handle the other stuff and concentrate on removing yourself from harms way.”


Patrick, thanks brother.  I seriously appreciate you, we all do here at JimOnLight.com.  Keep making that good light.

Situational Awareness — we’re going to close Part 1 of this primer and move onto Part 2, with Matt Hazard and Rick Reeves…  I bet you won’t believe that they’re going to have similar themes for us to follow.

Before you head on to part two, just read this little PDF from the Coast Guard about situational awareness.  Do you know where your head is in the game when the game is on?  This isn’t about being at some ready state of war and battle and all of that stuff most of us have no idea about but think you do because you play Call of Duty, this is just about keeping your head out of your phone and up a little bit to make sure you know what’s going on around you.  Situational Awareness is the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team with regards to the mission. More simply, it’s knowing what is going on around you.

Situational Awareness…  we’ll talk more about this in Part 2.

MOVE ON to Part 2 of
What If I’m Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer