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Mid-South venues adjusting security after British concert bombing

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shannon Walton says she’s looking forward to seeing a musical at the Orpheum this summer. She's not worried about terrorist threats.

“I don’t think we're in danger of terror. More local and domestic issues are our concern," Walton said.

But those who run Mid-South venues are looking at the bigger picture.

A bombing outside a concert in England is a violent reminder of the need to prepare.

Orpheum President Brett Batterson said he was just at a conference with other Broadway venues where they focused on the issue.

“A lot of it is making sure what you’re doing is very visible to discourage activity," Batterson said. “We have police presence at every performance for public as well. We take it seriously."

In fact, Batterson said he works with other venues in the Mid-South to make sure they’re all on the same page.

“We talk with the Forum, Cannon Center folks, all of them. It’s a common concern. We want to make sure Memphis doesn’t experience this so we can be a welcoming city for all the tourists,” he said.

He said his facility worked with police to figure out how to add outside deterrents as the best defense against plotters.

“We have identified with police in a walk-through of our building locations that need cameras that don’t have cameras. We're in the process of adding those now.”

He said they’re also considering making bag checks and metal detectors mandatory at every show. Right now, they only require those checks at some shows.

Officials at the Mud Island River Park said they already require bag and wand checks before people enter.

"Whatever it takes to make sure that would-be terrorists know our facility is watched," Batterson said.

Officials with FedExForum, the biggest concert venue in Memphis, told WREG they would not comment on the British terror attack due to sensitivity concerns.

The next event at FedExForum is in late June.

Memphis Police said they also work with venues to ensure safety outside. They released the following statement to WREG:

"We have experienced large crowds and a variety of events throughout the years without any major incidents occurring. We do not anticipate any problems in the future; however, patrons should always be vigilant of their surroundings at all times. If any suspicious activity it witnessed, police should be contacted immediately. This would be a good time to remind viewers of, 'if you see something, say something.'"

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