Thursday night, Post Malone will be headlining the fall concert at the Events Center, an event that’s garnered unprecedented attention, with floor tickets selling out in 90 minutes and the general admission tickets selling out in less than two days.
Although Post Malone’s arrival has stirred excitement among Binghamton University students and community members, and increased positive publicity for the University, we must also acknowledge that his performance follows Mac Miller’s Spring Fling show this past May — an event that lacked sufficient crowd control. This makes us wonder if the fall concert will be a similarly disastrous exercise in crowd control and safety.
The Spring Fling concert was supposed to be held outdoors in front of the Student Wing, but it was moved to the West Gym at the last minute due to inclement weather. However, the University didn’t account for the number of students who would attend the show, and the last-minute rush to get into the smaller venue led to a situation that was exceedingly unsafe and poorly planned. Property was damaged and students were injured.
The University cannot put students in such an unsafe situation again. There will be roughly 4,800 people in attendance at the fall concert, and the Events Center should be treated as a legitimate concert venue with sufficient security and crowd-control professionals. Post Malone’s popularity, combined with the excitement the show has drawn, adds to the growing risk of an unsafe situation. The challenges unique to our campus venues, coupled with recent violence at other similar events, makes considering and establishing the security of this event a paramount concern.
Since there are both floor tickets and general admission tickets, we’re not sure exactly how event security will distinguish between the two types of tickets and stop people from entering the floor area. We know that crowds can become rowdy and attendees might try to switch to a different section. How will security prevent students from climbing over barricades to get to the floor section? How will security control a sizable crowd from rushing into the venue in a frenzy to grab preferred seats? These are important factors that play into crowd control, and event staff must be prepared for anything.
Safety measures like metal detectors haven’t been in place at previous concerts and events at the University, and we believe this will likely be the case once again. If the University chooses to cut corners in this respect, it must, at the very least, provide sufficient crowd control, with well-trained employees who are equipped to handle potentially unsafe situations. Student staff should not be considered appropriate stand-ins for trained professionals.
The University should be prepared to handle any situation that could arise at a large-scale event such as this. Safety should always be the main priority at events on and off campus, and attendees should not have to worry about being hurt at an event meant to be enjoyable for everyone.