SAN JOSE (KPIX) — The SAP Center’s three day music festival to commemorate its 25th anniversary kicked off Friday, with an impressive country music star lineup.
But besides the singers and the songs, the security also took center stage.
“In light of what happened in Gilroy we did have a meeting and we decided we wanted to take extra precautions,” said SAP Center vice president of booking and events Steve Kirsner.
Besides a heavier than normal police presence and officers in plainclothes, Kirsner said they also had bomb-sniffing dogs, metal detectors for the free outdoor concerts, a fenced perimeter with guards and a vehicle barrier that he said was being used for the first time in Northern California.
The red and yellow barriers, made by Pitagone, are staged on both sides of Autumn Street between the outdoor concert area and the SAP Center.
“It’s just the sign of the times and it’s just too bad,” said attendee Larry Block.
Many attendees noticed the tight security and said it made them feel safe but was also saddening at the same time.
“I think it’s a shame we’ve had to go that far, I think it’s a shame where we’re at,” said Tina Skurla.
The SAP Center also began a clear bag policy on July 1 of this year.
“I thought, ‘Gosh, it’s really getting extreme now,'” said Linda McClain.
Kirsner said that up to 7,000 people are expected to attend the outdoor concerts that run from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. all three days. The indoor concert lineup includes Blake Shelton, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Maluma.
The music festival is the last event of the yearlong celebration for the SAP Center’s opening 25 years ago.
“I think we need more of this, I think if we do more community things and more people come, I think it’ll get back to the way San Jose is supposed to be,” Skurla said.