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Terrorism Precautions

A brief guide for musicians who gig and tour regarding what to do in the case of a terrorist incident at a gig or performance.

Last updated: 01 November 2023

Although there is no explicit need for concern, some past terrorist attacks at the Bataclan in Paris and at the Arena in Manchester have demonstrated that music venues and gigs can occasionally be an attractive target for terrorists.

General advice for performances

This advice is intended to help gigging and touring musicians stay aware of how best to protect themselves and others in the event of an incident.

  • You might start to see heightened security checks – ‘pat downs, bag searches’- these are for your safety and you may take a little longer to get in than normal. The security teams are another very important part of the production.
  • Backstage: all crew and those involved in production will have ID. Is everyone wearing it?
  • Tag your own bag and be aware of any unattended bags. With the amount of kit, flight cases, instruments and technical equipment involved it’s easy to miss a lone bag. If it looks out of place then ASK: ‘Who does it belong to?’ Apply this principle: HOT – Has the object been deliberately HIDDEN, is there an OBVIOUS threat (wires/timer) is it TYPICAL?
  • All venues should have a thorough Health and Safety briefing upon arrival. If this doesn’t happen, ask.
  • It is worth working out what your route would be from the stage or dressing/green room to a safe place? Familiarise yourself with the route and the safe place. You could be finding your way in the dark.

In the event of an incident

The UK National Police Chief’s Council has prepared short briefing notes for people caught up in a terrorist attack at their workplace. Their advice is: RUN, HIDE, TELL.

  1. RUN to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate.
  2. HIDE – it’s better to hide than to confront. Turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate.
  3. Finally when it is safe to do so, TELL  – call the police on 999 when or if it is safe to do so.

If you are ever unfortunate enough to be involved in such an event, don’t be afraid to seek help. Trauma counselling can be invaluable. Things happen on tours which affect us as people, never be afraid to share these concerns and take care of yourself. Find more information on our recommended sources of mental health and wellbeing support and advice. You should also talk to your tour manager about any help that is available.

UK National Anti-terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321

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