Disbelief. Horror. Outrage. In our editing office too, we cannot find the words to describe the terrorist attacks in Paris. It's news that hits the event industry hard.
That the safety of our attendees comes first, is no news to us organizers. Bringing together large numbers of people comes with risks. But the horror that happened in the concert hall Bataclan is unreal. Not too long ago, Kevin interviewed Ricardo Baretzky (ECIPC / Cyberpol) in the eventplanner.tv studio, about the risks of terrorism on events. Especially events with political figures, specific topics, ... would involve higher risks. But not a random concert, right?
However, the bloodbath in the concert hall Bataclan was not a coincidence. According to Le Parisien, a French newspaper, concert halls on French soils were marked by the leaders of ISIL as being 'ideal' targets for terrorist attacks. This already turned out after the arrest of a Frenchman on 11 August. After traveling in Syria, he was arrested in France. Due to these events, reporter David Thomson posted a picture on his Twitter account on 18 September that was being used by jihadists as propaganda material. The image shows cheering fans in front of a stage with the message that the jihad is not only being fought in Syria.
The past few hours, our editing office received various reactions. Full of disbelief, sadness, ... Due to safety precautions, various events such as a Live Nation concert of U2 were cancelled. In order events, such as Night of the Proms in Antwerp, a higher state of alertness is in effect. "The visitors pass through security gates in order to enter Het Sportpaleis. Our security has also received permission to search persons. All of these efforts are aimed at giving our attendees a bigger feeling of comfort and security. Their safety is our highest priority", says Jan van Esbroeck of the Sportpaleis Groep. In quite some other places safety precautions were taken as well.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that".
Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and with France.