Last summer, Beale Street security had the street blocked off on the weekends from 9 until close. Security personnel at the entrances checked every person’s ID and wanded them with a metal detector to make sure they weren’t carrying weapons. It was a little bit of a hassle and it made the lines to get on the street longer, but it was well worth it to feel safe.
Last Saturday night after BBQ Fest, two friends and I had drinks at EP’s, then walked on to Beale about 12:45 to head to the Tap Room. There was security at the entrance, but he waved us right in without carding us, and there was no metal detector.
Now, it doesn’t bother me that much that we were waved in – all three of us are obviously old enough, and we’ve been seen on Beale for years and the guards know our faces. But this guy also waved in the ten people in front of and behind us, only stopping to check the IDs of people who clearly didn’t look anywhere near 21. I thought the rule was, if they look under 30 you’re supposed to check IDs?
Also, the lack of metal detectors bothered me. When I came out of the Tap Room about 2 in the morning, I looked around at the crowd and I can just about GUARANTEE you a few of those people were carrying weapons. Last year, they never would have gotten on the street.
Maybe security was just overwhelmed by the BBQ Fest crowd and didn’t have the manpower to do everything they needed to last weekend. I’ll try to go back to Beale this weekend or next and see if the situation has improved. But if what I saw last Saturday was any indication, security needs to get it together, or there are going to be problems on the street this summer.