ILMC: Live Nation boss says tight anti-terrorism security at gigs OK for fans

ILMC: Live Nation boss says tight anti-terrorism security at gigs OK for fans

Arthur Fogel (pictured right), arguably the most powerful touring executive in the international concerts business, is convinced music fans would cope if airports’ draconian security systems were introduced at live gigs.

Fogel, who is president of global touring at Live Nation, the world’s biggest concert promoter, expressed this point during an on-stage keynote interview at this year’s sold-out ILMC (International Live Music Conference) in London yesterday (8 March).

His comment was prompted by a question posed by interviewer Ed Bicknell (pictured left), managing director of Damage Management and a witty raconteur who used to manage Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler.

The dialogue was kick started by Bicknell asking Fogel: “Is the live music industry prepared to cope with a terrorist attack?”

It seemed an appropriate question to put to Fogel, whose credentials include managing global tours for Lady Gaga, Madonna, and U2. He admitted gambling $40 million of other people’s money to secure The Rolling Stones’ highly successful 1989 Steel Wheels tour. More than 3 million tickets were sold worldwide for the U2 Vertigo tour he handled during 2005 and 2006. And he is the only tour manager to have worked with David Bowie since 1990.

Initially, he told Bicknell: “I think there are things that could be done (to prevent an attack). We’re all exposed to it in many different ways and it would be catastrophic on many levels if it happened. It’s a worry.”

And when Bicknell then suggested that music fans would not like their enjoyment stifled by the imposing security restrictions carried out at airports today, Fogel disagreed.

“I think the public would tolerate the fuss you get at airports and the Super Bowl and still pay for the concert,” he declared.

For more on what happened at this year’s ILMC, visit its website here.

[Juliana Koranteng]