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Security at Philly concert venues high after Paris attacks

Philly concert-goers are seeing increased security in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Security guards outside a French soccer stadium after the Paris attacks.Reuters

As the Friday the 13thtragedy at the hand of terrorists in Paris unfolded for innocent natives and tourists alike, its danger extended to artist-musicians and concert-going fans.

The worst of the melee – 88 dead at an Eagles of Death Metal concert – hit one of that city's most popular live venues, the Bataclan.

While the weekend of Nov. 14 found U2 and other bandsimmediately cancelling gigs in Paris, entire European tours were scrapped in the aftermath of the mindless slaughter perpetrated byISIL, also known as Daesh.

"In light of this senseless violence, the closing of borders, and international mourning, we can't continue right now," said the Foo Fighters via press statement. "This is crazy and it sucks. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was hurt or who lost a loved one."

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The after-effects of the killings at Paris' Bataclan quickly became far-reaching when Bob Dylan demanded armed guards be placed in the audience while he performed in Bologna, Italy.

Now, with terror alerts spreading to America with videos warning of a possible ISILinsurgence in New York City, Manhattan's East Coast neighbor — Philadelphia—is currently feeling its way through additional security measures at concerts.

At chart-topping rapper Jeezy's sold-out show for his new album, "Church in These Streets," at Union Transfer last Wednesday, the mood was jovial and the line moved swiftly, but the venue's usual pat-downs were extended to two pit stops as opposed to one.

The next night at Upper Darby's Tower Theatre, My Morning Jacket—a mellow indie-rock band—there were several pat-downs and security wands for the sake of metal detection that moved quickly, without incident. The added security measures were simple and un-spoken (no security guard would comment) but certainly in full effect in the wake of the Bataclan tragedy.

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"The safety and security of our shows, fans and venues continue to be our highest priority," said Live Nation Entertainment in a statement. "Due to the recent events in Paris and in an abundance of caution, we have implemented heightened security procedures globally. However, because of the sensitive nature of these protocols, we cannot elaborate further on the specific details."

Live Nation could not discuss specific security measures for any of individual artists or venues, local or national.

Few local venues contacted could or would comment on possibly re-doubled security measures for artists or audiences.

"We have been in contact with the FBI, Homeland Security and the Philadelphia police, and – at this time – there is no direct or indirect threat to the Kimmel campus," says Leslie Patterson-Tyler, Director of Media Relations for the Kimmel Center, the Merriam and the Academy of Music. "We have reinforced the training of our security staff accordingly and increased security as a precaution only.”

But avid concertgoers who make attending shows a habit have noticed the uptick across the board.

"We waited so long to get in, longer than usual," says Dylan DelloBuono, who witnessed increased wait time and more metal detectors than usual at The Fillmore's sold-out Travis Scott show last Friday. "There's definitely more security around."

 

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