By Deborah Bailey
Security plans are at the top of the agenda for D.C. Metropolitan Police as we approach the dates for Something in the Water Festival, happening over Juneteenth weekend. The Festival, originally conceived by artist Pharrell, is scheduled for June 17-19 at the National Mall is expected to draw more than 50,000 fans and is one of a host of activities scheduled to celebrate Juneteenth in the District.
Disruptions in last weekend’s March for Our Lives Rally as well as the DC Pride Festival have police on high alert to prevent possible disturbances at the three day Something in the Water event.
DC Police will work in collaboration with private security teams hired by Festival promoters to manage security for the event. LGC Security is the primary contactor supported by Metropolitan Protective Services secured by Festival management. LGC is headquartered in Washington DC while Metropolitan Protective Services is based in Aurora Colorado.
DC Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Deputy Mayor Chris Geldhart stated that all of his on-duty officers will devote at least part of their shifts to one or more of the District’s schedule of Juneteenth activities, including the Something in the Water Festival.
Security plans are gearing up now for both the perimeter of the Festival entrance as well as inside the festival platform. Representatives from Metropolitan Protective Services indicate a security perimeter being built in advance of the festival will prevent access to the event. To prevent weapons from accessing the festival grounds, all ticket holders will be subject to manometers, similar to airport security protocol.
Unfounded gun threats caused problems at both the DC Pride and March for Our Lives events last week.
Festival planners are also aware of the crowd size anticipated for Something in the Water. Extra security measures are planned for the inner perimeter of the event as security experts are mindful of the 8 tragic deaths and hundreds of hospitalizations at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston in November 2021.
Deputy Mayor Geldhart encouraged festivalgoers to sign up for city alerts ahead of the festival, for immediate notification and instructions in the event of a problem. Attendees are requested to use Metro for transport to and from the event.
Finally, Geldhart reminded those planning to attend Something in the Water that no marijuana, knives, guns or umbrellas are allowed on festival grounds.
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