Bob Fontenot, the venue security director for the singer’s Dangerous Woman tour, called for additional measures to be added but dropped the idea when told how much it would cost.
The investigation showed a “show rider” for the tour who originally requested “bag checks and metal detectors at the entrance at the discretion of the venue.”
His team were told that the use of metal detector ‘sticks’ was not standard practice in the arena and requested ‘full pat-downs’ instead, costing £ 3,500.
The full pat downs were adopted earlier than the NEC in Birmingham on May 18, 2017, as they were cheaper, but in Manchester four days later, only ‘random’ keys were used.
As they were evacuated from the arena after the attack, Mr Fontenot turned to Rik Weightman, production manager for concert promoter Live Nation, and said “that’s why we needed full palpitations. », We told the survey.
In fact, the bomb had been thrown in the “City Room”, the foyer where the ticket office of the arena was located, which was outside the security cordon.
Salman Abedi, the bomber, had sat in the lobby for an hour before launching his attack as the concert ended, but he never tried to get into the “bowl” of the concert himself.
However, the arena has now introduced metal detecting arcs for anyone entering the site.
The investigation was informed that the measures requested were aimed at security Miss Grande rather than the crowd.
In a witness statement, Mr. Weightman said Mr. Fontenot had been “quite unhappy with the additional cost and he said he was not prepared to approve the additional cost.”
He added: “While Bob has expressed his personal take that all venues should do full taps, he wasn’t going to pay extra if Manchester Arena didn’t do it naturally.
“At the Birmingham NEC, there was the option of having full palpations at extra low beds, which was significantly lower than that cited by Manchester Arena. ”
“Wanding” was seen as an alternative to tapping, but again Mr. Fontenot “felt that wanding should be standard but if it wasn’t standard on the site he didn’t think the tour should pay for it. that ”.
After the attack, the singer’s management claimed to have “insisted” on obtaining magnetic sticks “at any cost” and claimed that “the site’s affiliates refused the request and pat-down searches were brought into play. artwork “.
But the investigation showed emails from Miriam Stone, Events Manager for SMG, the venue operator, to Mr. Weightman, saying, “Full patrol?!?! It’s bigger than wanding! Requiring research lines and around thirty staff members. Are you sure you want a full slap? Costs around £ 3,500.
“We can find a compromise. If we have a profile lane at each door, we can choose either by profiling or every time, tenth person, and do more frequent random searches.
“Add to that a few more access controls per door moving randomly, we can do that with a total of 10 employees, 5 call hours minimum, or around £ 900 in total.”
The response was, “Random tapping only, no wand. ”
John Cooper QC, on behalf of the families of the victims, asked Mr Weightman: “There is a problem of how much security costs, it can sometimes mean that the security is not taken because it is just too much. Dear? ”
“It can sometimes, yes,” Mr. Weightman said.