Organizers for the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival said they were planning to discuss security with police after a shooting in Gilroy Sunday at the popular Garlic Festival. (Courtesy photo)

Festivals reviewing security measures after Gilroy shooting

Some Bay Area festivals are reviewing their security and safety protocols following Sunday’s mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

Half Moon Bay’s Art and Pumpkin Festival, which takes place October 19th to October 20th is, like the Garlic Festival, a family friendly agricultural celebration. Organizers issued a statement Monday saying they would be looking at ways to increase safety after the shooting.

“The Pumpkin Festival Committee, law enforcement and city officials regularly address and review its public safety plan and will be meeting in the coming days to discuss additional measures,” they said in a statement.

Likewise, a spokesperson confirmed that San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, which takes place Oct. 4-6 in Golden Gate Park, will be discussing security in a regular meeting with the San Francisco Police Department in “the coming weeks.”

The festival’s current security set-up includes an emergency text alerts from AlertSF. Organizers “work closely with city and state agencies, as well as SFPD and the Park Police to develop our safety protocol,” said Maria Ivey, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass’ publicist.

Organizers for Outside Lands, which is set to take place Aug. 4-6 in Golden Gate Park, did not respond to request for comments on the story, but police confirmed they would be on site.

The San Francisco Police Department “does not provide specific information regarding staffing or security plans for special events,” according to Media Relations Unit Officer Michael Andraychak.

“Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass are annual events and there will be a San Francisco Police presence at both venues,” said the San Francisco media relations unit.

Both Outside Lands’ and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festivals attract 200,000 people, almost twice as many people as attended the Gilroy Garlic Festival in 2017.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival was not the first such event to experience a mass shooting. On Oct. 1, 2017, gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded two at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

In France, terrorists killed 90 people at an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan theatre as part of a series of attacks in several places, cafes and restaurants in Paris on November 13, 2015.

The attacks triggered a state of emergency, a constitutional disposition that grant special powers to the executive branch in case of exceptional circumstances, until November 2017.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct dates for both the Half Moon Bay’s Art and Pumpkin Festival and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

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