Popular Nashville concert venues the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium have implemented new security measures to keep concertgoers safe.
In an interview with Music Row, Grand Ole Opry VP and GM Pete Fisher says that as of Aug. 18, each venue has begun using walk-through metal detectors, and patrons have the choice to be screened with handheld metal detecting wands. He adds that it is a decision the venues have been pursuing for nearly a year, and while there is no direct threat to either venue, it’s a precaution considering the recent events in Florida and throughout the world.
“One of the important qualities of the Grand Ole Opry is accessibility,” Fisher tells Music Row. “Country artists have always prided themselves on being accessible, and the Grand Ole Opry likes to showcase that accessibility with the unique backstage environment we offer, and we don’t want to take that away. We are just putting in prudent measures to make sure everyone is safe and secure, and everyone can enjoy that accessibility once they are in the building, as they have for years.”
The new safety procedures, including bag checks, will also be used for performers, backstage guests and those working at the venue. According to Music Row, people entering backstage will need to show an ID so their name can be checked against an official backstage list.
“We fully expect this will become standard practice among all entertainment venues,” Fisher adds. “We are not introducing any screening measures here that people are not used to when they go to a stadium, arena, or an airport.”