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Taylor Swift deploys facial recognition to identify stalkers

Taylor Swift used facial recognition technology during a concert at Los Angeles’ Rose Bowl stadium earlier this year in an effort to spot potentially dangerous ‘super fans’, it has emerged.

The Rolling Stone magazine reports that the technology was implemented during the US popstar’s gig at the stadium on May 18.

Fans unknowingly had their faces scanned while watching rehearsal clips of Swift at the stadium. Recordings were then sent to a command centre in Nashville, where they were checked against a database of hundreds of Swift’s known stalkers.

“Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working,” Mike Downing, chief security officer of Oak View Group, which advises venues on concert operations, told Rolling Stone.

Downing attended the Rose Bowl concert to witness a demonstration of the technology.

The Telegraph newspaper noted that the Rose Bowl would not need to inform fans that they are under surveillance as the stadium is a private company.

Facial recognition technology is on the rise in stadiums and arenas across the world. Earlier this year, Ticketmaster invested in facial recognition firm Blink Identity as part of plans to integrate the company’s technology with its own Presence tool.

Swift’s representatives did not respond to Rolling Stone’s requests for comments.

Concert Stampede In Italy Leaves 6 Dead, More Than 50 Injured

December 10, 2018 Olivia Perreault

During a concert in Italy over the weekend, a spray was released into the air, causing a stampede to break out, killing six fans and injuring over 50.

The concert, led by Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta, took place Saturday night at the Blue Lantern disco in Corinaldo, Italy, near Ancona on the Adriatic coast. According to the Associated Press, survivors said an irritant spray was released into the air around 1 a.m., which led the crowd to panic. Teenagers began to rush out a door and toward a low wall near an exit. However, the barrier gave way and people began to fall and trip over one another.

TV RaiNews24 reported that bodies of the trampled victims were found near a low wall and most had their skulls crushed during the incident. Three girls and two boys – ranging from ages 14 to 16 – were killed, along with a 39-year-old mother who had brought her daughter to the show, Col. Cristian Carrozza, commander of the Ancona province Carabinieri paramilitary police, said.

The injuries ranged from arm and leg ailments to cranial and chest traumas, doctors at Ancona’s main hospital said. An 18-year-old survivor said that the irritant spray left herself and others unable to breathe, which caused some survivors to leave the venue with burns.

“I’m deeply saddened by what happened,” rapper Ebbasta said in an Instagram post. “I don’t want to pass judgment on who is responsible, but I would just like to ask everyone to stop and think how dangerous and stupid it can be to use pepper spray in a nightclub.”

While the Blue Lantern was only supposed to hold about 870 people, authorities said around 1,400 tickets were sold – far too many for the venue. The disco has three rooms, but only one was held for the concert, which only holds 469 people.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella demanded a full investigation, noting that “citizens have the right to safety wherever they are, in workplaces as well as places of entertainment.” At this time, the fire commander said it was too early to know if any safety violations at the site played a role in the tragedy. Premier Giuseppe Conte added that the event was “way overcrowded and alcohol abounded.”

“The government must ask itself what to [do] so that such tragedies must never happen again,” Conte said.

Scanning for guns

From Russ- thanks

I recently heard a story where a female got a loaded handgun through security screening because she placed the gun in her underwear (front side) and then told the wanders that her piercings were setting it off. The wander didn’t want to go further in the screening process, so he let her in.

This illustrates the importance of making sure that every patron is cleared.

What should have happened here is that when the screener could not clear the alarm they should have called a supervisor. If the supervisor could not clear the alarm then it should have been elevated to law enforcement.

Bottom line is no person who is not fully cleared should be allowed into a building.

Russ Simons

Chief Listening Officer

Managing Partner
Venue Solutions Group
7105 Peach Court
Suite 108
Brentwood TN 37027

Pro Football Stadiums Aim to Stem Fan Violence

by Andy Berg
November 2018

The $1 million lawsuit filed this week by a Cowboys fan who was severely beaten at a game two years ago is yet another reason professional football stadium operators are trying their best to get fan violence under control.

According to the Dallas ABC affiliate, Michael Kennedy and his wife M’Kale are suing the Cowboys organization for negligence. Kennedy alleges that he and his wife decided to leave their seats during an Oct. 30, 2016, game against the Philadelphia Eagles because of unruly and belligerent fans who were kicking their seats and spilling beer on them.

After alerting the aisle attendant of the fans’ behavior, Kennedy says he was attacked. The lawsuit describes a bloody beating wherein Kennedy was kicked, punched and stomped on.

Stadium security allegedly told Kennedy that they tried to call for help but their radios weren’t working. The lawsuit alleges that the Cowboy’s organzation “failed to take reasonable safety measures” that could’ve prevented the attack, including functioning radios, and failed to protect its fans.”

It’s the kind of incident that can be exacerbated by rival matchups like the one Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., is set to host this weekend between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders. Violent clashes between fans erupted in the parking lot of Oakland-Alameda Coliseum the last time the two teams faced off in December 2014. Prior to that, two men were shot in the parking lot of Candlestick Park when the two teams met in 2011.

According to The Mercury News, officials are planning a number of extra security measures for this weekend, including boosting the number of undercover officers in the stands who will sport jerseys of both teams.

“The history of games between these two teams is known to us,” Santa Clara police Capt. Wahid Kazem said, acknowledging previous violent clashes among fans. “This will be quite different than any other football game we’ve hosted this year.”

Levi’s Stadium is also adding temporary holding cells, as well an additional 800 security cameras. The stadium will also be clamping down on any post-Halloween spillover, noting that they will not allow any masks into the event.

Kazem said that police will exercise their discretion to end alcohol sales inside the stadium earlier than the standard end-of-third-quarter cutoff if they find themselves responding to an unusual amount of confrontations in the stands or concourses.

“We recognize the fact that this is a highly charged game and rivalry, and people can get overzealous,” said Jim Mercurio, Levi’s general manger and the team’s vice president of stadium operations. “For the most part, if people want to come down here and try to misbehave, they’re going to find themselves met with resistance. If you’re coming to the game to enjoy a nice rivalry and root for your team, you’ll have a great time.”

The increased security comes as the victim of a parking lot assault at Levi’s Stadium earlier this month is still in critical condition at a local hospital.

David Aguilera Gonzales, 34, was charged with assault by means of force causing great bodily harm after he punched a man several times following the 49ers game against the Arizona Cardinals. Gonzales is free on $75,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court Dec. 13.

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