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Music festivals could be next terror target in the UK

A senior anti-terror Met Police officer warned music executives of the risks this summer, and called upon festivals to up security

A senior Metropolitan Police officer has warned that music festivals will be on “high alert” for terror attacks this summer.

Deputy assistant commissioner of the Met Police Neil Basu said “crowded places” like festivals and sporting events were of major concern, citing them as “right at the top of the agenda”. The threat of Isis were what he called a “principle threat”.

Mr Basu gave an anti-terrorism briefing at Wembley Stadium last week, attended by music and sporting event executives. He advised enforcing stricter security measures would keep attendees much safer.

He also warned of the dangers smaller music venues face, in the wake of the Paris attacks which centred around the Bataclan during an Eagles of Death Metal gig. “I want to see the owners and event managers taking the same kind of security precautions,” he said. 

Although there have been no specific threats made towards music festivals in the UK, Basu explained that they were particularly vulnerable and difficult to keep safe. “They tend to have one big stage with high perimeter security,” said Basu. “It’s kind of the equivalent (to a stadium) but even harder to control because the perimeters are much larger.”

“The threat has become more difficult, because it’s now potentially any time any place, anywhere. These people are perfectly happy to target civilians with the maximum terror impact.”

Glastonbury festival will welcome 135,000 people to the farm this year. Adrian Coombs, the security director for the festival, told the Independent: “The Glastonbury festival thoroughly plans the event each year, where necessary with the support of the police, and puts in place all essential measures to protect the public and maximise public safety.”