Lawrence venues considered mostly safe

Fatal shootings at an Ohio nightclub was topic No. 1 Thursday among veterans of Lawrence's live music scene.

"Everyone's talking about it," said Jacki Becker, a local music promoter. "I've talked to numerous people today about it."

The consensus, she said, is that there's no perfect security system -- but that Lawrence music fans probably don't have to worry about their safety.

"I think we take steps every day to make sure the people who enter our concerts, our clubs and our buildings are safe," Becker said.

Wednesday night, a gunman entered a club in Columbus, Ohio, where the metal band Damageplan was playing. The suspect killed four people -- including former Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott -- before being killed by a police officer.

Becker said security precautions at each show in Lawrence varied depending on the venue and the band involved. At some shows, fans aren't allowed to bring purses and bags inside. At other events, bags are searched and patted down.

"A policy emerges at each concert each night, for the approach you want to take," she said. "Every venue in town has a policy they coordinate with musicians to make sure it's a safe event."

Becker worried that the shootings would make music fans fearful of attending concerts.

"Safety and satisfaction of the fans is everybody's No. 1 objective," she said.

But Becker said there was no way to ensure a violent incident never would happen.

"If somebody wants to do what happened yesterday," she said, "they'll find a way to do it."


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