How a Bomb-Sniffing Dog Saved a Foo Fighters Concert
Foo Fighters take safety at their concerts seriously — and their recent stop at Billings, Mont.'s MetraPark venue was nearly derailed for lack of a bomb-sniffing dog.
KTVQ reports that MetraPark employees were forced to go on a nationwide search for a dog to fulfill the Foos' stringent security requirements, ultimately racing against the clock to find a qualified animal after a local group fell through. The answer was eventually found in Atlanta — leaving the venue to foot an additional $7,500 in expenses.
"It really was a team effort," marketing director Ray Massie told the station. "It's just another thing we do to make sure that shows get to come to Billings and are comfortable coming to Billings."
As the Billings Gazette points out, MetraPark's dog search wasn't the only extra measure taken to meet the Foo Fighters' safety requirements. The venue also spent $50,000 to install a dozen brand new metal detectors — and although a rep admitted the purchase was made due to "an order" from the band, it's an addition they're happy to keep; according to GM Bill Dutcher, "they will be used again."
It's been no secret that the Foo Fighters have made security an issue during recent performances. Tour manager Gus Brandt called for an overall overhaul of security procedures at venues across the country last year, arguing that many personnel aren't really qualified for the job — and stressing that additional measures only make good sense during an era of increased violence at public events.
"The concert industry needs to react and adjust and come up with a plan — 'this is what it's like in an arena, this is what it's like in a shed.' Don't give us your trainees, please," Brandt told Rolling Stone. "Every show's the Super Bowl."
Metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs are just two of the ways the Foos have insisted on safeguarding the concert experience for fans — as reported earlier this year, the band also requires IDs at shows, something they've explained as an effort to thwart scalpers.