EDITORIAL: Should Artists Step In When Security Guards Become Too Aggressive?
Photo taken from @kristynoliver_ on Twitter.
We all go to shows to have a good time and to hear our favorite musicians play live. We all expect to be safe and to be treated with respect. Sometimes, security guards overstep their boundaries and when they do, they deserve to be called out.
There is a fine line between maintaining order to keep concert attendees safe and an unwarranted abuse of power. Just because security guards are authority figures doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. Security guards need to exercise discretion and consider whether the actions they’re taking are causing more harm than good. Nonetheless, security guards need to be held accountable for their actions. Venues and festivals have to provide adequate training to learn how to respond to situations responsibly. Some security guards might go rogue, but venues have a duty to provide guidelines, since they hired the guards.
Recently, Tonight Alive’s lead singer Jenna McDougall stepped in to stop aggressive security guards (video). Reportedly, McDougall was encouraging Soundwave attendees to crowdsurf to the front and promised to high-five them. When a male crowdsurfer got to the front, numerous security guards pinned him down to the ground. The security guards overreacted and treated the fan more aggressively than was necessary (from the video, it doesn’t look like the fan was attempting to resist and it was clear that he was struggling under the weight of so many security guards), so much so that McDougall hopped off the stage to address the situation. McDougall had to call for the guards to let the fan go free repeatedly.