The organizers of the annual VidCon online video event are tightening security in the wake of the shootings in Orlando this weekend.
In a letter posted to Tumblr on Monday afternoon (June 13), VidCon said it had requested an enhanced police presence during its three-day event in Anaheim later this month (the annual online video confab takes place June 23-25). Undercover police will also patrol the event and each panel will be attended by at least three security guards. Organizers said this represented nearly twice as many security officers than last year.
The YouTube community was hit hard by the Friday night death of musician Christina Grimmie, who was gunned down during a meet-and-greet after a show. Grimmie, known for competing during the sixth season of The Voice, first rose to fame on YouTube, generating millions of views for her covers of songs like Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.”
Less than two days after her death, 49 people were killed in an unrelated shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“This has been an awful weekend for our community and our world,” VidCon organizers wrote in the blog post. “Christina Grimmie was an innovator, and an artist, and she was so kind. Losing her is devastating. And the attack in Orlando likewise drives home how much hate there is in the world.”
In response to these events, VidCon is implementing some new policies. Attendees who have signed up to meet their favorite stars will be required to pass through metal detectors and go through bag check. Random back checks will also occur throughout the event. Further, VidCon will ban informal meet-and-greets after panels. “This sucks,” they said of the policy change, noting that it was “unfortunately necessary.”
VidCon, which is heading into its seventh year, has increased security over the last few years as its numbers have grown. Among the procedures already planned for this year is a fence that will span the entire perimeter of its event at the Anaheim Convention Center. Registered attendees only will be allowed to enter the event through designated entrances and exits.
The Hilton Hotel, meanwhile, will be closed to attendees who are not properly credentialed.
“As in all years, we want VidCon to be fun, but you can’t have fun without being safe, and the VidCon Team is committed to making sure that everyone’s safety is the number one priority,” reads the blog post.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.