European festivals tighten security measures in response to terror attacks
Tension continues to rise in Europe as a string of terror attacks over the past year has left many wondering if the increase in violence across the Schengen area would simmer down in the foreseeable future. Following suicide bomb explosions in the Brussels airport, the country became one of the first to rally together festival organizers in deliberation of how to protect these gatherings from the potential threat they faced from extremist attackers. The threatening idea later became a reality as July began with a suicide bomber detonating his vest outside the German music festival and injuring 15 people.
Countries across Western Europe have reacted to recent developments almost instantaneously, implementing a number of additional security measures for upcoming festivals throughout the region indefinitely. For example, the August 4-6 metal festival Wacken Open Air in Germany will no longer allow backpacks of any kind onto its grounds. Belgium’s revealed policies thus far include heavier police involvement and drug dogs, according to Rock Werchter director Yo Van Saet.
Austria’s Lake Festival endured stringent protective adjustments as well; native publication The Local described 50 added personnel onto the event’s entrance in addition to increased searches and bomb-sniffing dogs. Over a hundred thousand are expected to attend throughout the weekend, which commenced for them on July 28.