Before the iconic Grammy Awards takes place, musicians are set to be briefed on counterterrorism and emergency situations by State Department and European Union officials.
The security briefing will be an all-day event in a hotel suite in Times Square. High-profile attendees expected to attend include Pink, Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town, Young Thug, and Run the Jewels, a report from Rolling Stone reveals. Two former State Department officials will be part of the team of experts giving the briefing.
Standard emergency briefings are quite common for concert venues and even awards shows, but this event marks the first instance of the State Department and European Union directly instructing the musicians on the best non-event-specific practices in terms of security.
"Creating situational awareness, identifying vulnerable points and times of increased risk, avoiding time and place predictability, and crafting a contingency plan" are among the subjects that will be tackled in the seminar, an anonymous official reveals to the magazine.
This briefing was put together in response to attacks on music-related events, particularly some of the more recent incidents: the 2013 Bataclan concert hall attack in Paris that left 89 dead, the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing in Manchester, United Kingdom that killed 22 including children, and the 2017 Route 91 music festival shooting in Las Vegas that resulted in 59 deaths.
Following the deadly attacks, live music events all over the world saw the emergence of tighter security measures and sharper focus on safety. Concert organizers are implementing additional steps to ensure the safety of talents and attendees.
Meanwhile, the pre-Grammy Awards briefing is a way for the musicians to get more information about protecting themselves.
DJ Skribble, who will be attending the briefing along with other touring musicians, says he wants to be more aware of security protocols and safety opportunities after more than 30 years of tour experience.
ISIS expert and former State Department director of analytics Dr. Amir Bagherpour explains that music and entertainment are among the biggest exports and, as such, can be a big target to attackers. An affiliate of Progress Humanity, Bagherpour is also one of the experts briefing the musicians. Nonprofit Progress Humanity will be hosting the briefing.
"Since 9/11, there have been only three major attacks on concerts, one of which wasn't ISIS or so-called 'Muslim terrorism' but a lone wolf shooter," he says to Rolling Stone. "But it only takes one 9/11 to change how people respond to each other."
Bagherpour adds that while the public shouldn't be living in constant fear of terrorism occurring everywhere, hypervigilance is important.