Saturday, June 22, 2002
Promoters, Police Cooperate to Fight Drugs at Concerts
Concert promoters and security officials throughout the United States are implementing efforts to crack down on illegal drug use at rock shows, the Indianapolis Star reported June 19.
Many concert organizers have already added more security guards to events and banned parking-lot tailgating. In addition, they are forming partnerships with local law enforcement to curb drug use at concerts.
"That's the challenge we face with every show, controlling that type of illegal activity," said Jayme Rodgers, the director of event security at Verizon Wireless Music Center in Indianapolis, Ind. The venue can accommodate nearly 30,000 fans.
"The reason you see this security increase is that we're always trying to make sure the people who come to the shows remain safe," said Andy Wilson, publicity director for Clear Channel Entertainment, one of the nation's largest concert promoters. "And it's one of our main missions to always try to make sure any illegal activity is accounted for, and dealt with."
The extra security effort is opposed by Flex Your Right, a newly-formed Washington, D.C., nonprofit. "It's pretty ironic, don't you think?" said Steven Silverman, the nonprofit's founder. "It would make a lot more sense if concert promoters did not send in police to arrest the people who they are selling the tickets to."