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Columbia’s Roots N Blues festival steps up security

A co-owner of the Roots N Blues festival said Friday that the event this year will have more security than in years past.

This is Tracy Lane’s first year as co-owner of The Roots and Blues Festival in Columbia. She said she has been in events for 30 years, and said the festival has robust security.

“I’m very impressed with the plan that has been in place here, but of course … I’m the safety first member of the trio, so I’m always looking at ways we can improve on that in any way possible,” Lane said.

She said the festival works closely with the Columbia police, fire and health departments to ensure the safety of all attendees. “We spend almost the entire year reviewing, refreshing any change that we make and how that might affect security, so we make sure we can cover that,” she said.

In response to a question from ABC 17 News about whether recent violence crime prompted the increased security, Lane said the increase is not necessarily related to those fatal shootings.

“We have added security, we have more paid security than we’ve had in previous years, and we have almost 800 feet of fencing, not particularly related to any particular incident,” Lane said.

Attendees will go through multiple checkpoints, including bag and personal item checks and security officers with metal-detecting wands.

“Every bag will be checked, strollers, wagons … anything that you are bringing into the festival. It’s for the safety of everyone,” Lane said.

Lane said they have security personnel monitoring the perimeter of the event around the clock, as well as fencing around the entire grounds .

Lane said Roots N Blues has been a safe and family-friendly events since it began, “We want it to continue to be that,” Lane said. “That’s why it’s so important to have the protocols in place to make sure everyone feels safe.”


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