The Prodigy were here on Monday evening, and they’re just the sort of act you’d expect would leave me with loads of tales to tell. Boozy antics, backstage bust ups, and smashed TV’s. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint, but there was none of it. In fact, just about the worst thing I can come up with was that the band travelled here in separate limos, so the environment isn’t top of their agenda!
If you were here on Monday, or have read the comments on thisisplymouth, you’ll know that it was an awesome night. Throwing back to a previous posting, it’s also great that it’s been acknowledged that although the sound system was loud, which it really needs to be for a gig like this, that the sound was perfect and you could hear every word.
The biggest worry for us ahead of the gig was that we received some intelligence that organised pickpockets had targeted this tour, had bought tickets for all of the shows, and were travelling the country conducting their crimes. Losing your wallet or your mobile on a night out can completely change your evening, and of course it doesn’t do our reputation any good either. It’s extremely rare that such a thing happens here but we couldn’t ignore the tip off, so we worked extremely hard to try and strike the right balance between taking every step possible, but without spoiling the experience for our 4000 customers.
The best way to prevent crimes like this is to deter or prevent the criminals in the first place. The Police were fantastic. On site we had a Police CCTV van, and around a dozen uniformed officers and PCSO’s. They maintained a high visibility presence around the venue, but also respected our wishes for them not to be present inside the arena, so that our customers didn’t feel intimidated. Instead, they also provided undercover officers, who were inside and on the lookout at all times. In addition, our security team of around 40 were on full alert.
We also took the rare decision to search and pat down customers on entry to the venue. We don’t do this lightly, as we don’t wish to intimidate, antagonise or scare anyone. In actual fact, the feedback that we’ve had over the last couple of days was that it had quite the opposite effect – people were happy and comforted by the fact that we took their safety so seriously. Importantly though, it worked. The evening passed without major event, and “Everybody In The Place” went home happy.