After the horrific debacle which saw many concert goers looted, stabbed and harassed after the Global Citizen concert in Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium in December last year, Big Concerts has assured fans that they’ve beefed up security ahead of the first major music event since the incident. This weekend, Ed Sheeran will be playing two sold-out shows at the FNB Stadium which will see over 75 000 fans entering the precinct on each day. Now, in a press briefing, the promoter has ensured that they have put plans in place to ensure the safest concert experience for their fans.

Mike Lord of Alliance Safety Management says that at least 1156 security officers are expected within the stadium perimeter and a further 100 outside. “We are reinventing the world cup security plan and remain confident that it will work,” Mike said at the press briefing today.

Meanwhile, Bertie Grobberlaar, managing director of Stadium Management South Africa, says that the stadium learned a hard lesson after Global Citizen and has urged concert goers to make use of public transport to get to and from the venue. “A lot of lessons were learnt during the Global Citizen[‘s concert] and we have now agreed with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) on a new plan and have already put it into practice during other events, such as the Soweto Derby,” she says. “We will have a park and ride service provider and make use of the Metrobus and the Gautrain to try to reduce congestion.”

Meanwhile, Justin Van Wyk, CEO of promoter Big Concerts adds that there will be parking at the venue but will only be available to those who purchase parking tickets via Computicket. “People should avoid parking where ‘illegal’ car guards would be directing them, as that may lead to vulnerability and allow theft,” Justin says.

The JMPD and SAPS will also be on hand to ensure that fans outside the stadium are safe. “There will be a tactical response team deployed as well, carrying R1 riffles, as we will be ensuring concertgoers their safety,” JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said while Captain Laraine Van Emmerik adds that besides it’s Flying Squad and K9 units, “We are still finalising how many officers will be deployed to the area.”

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