Florida Georgia Line concertgoers: Unexpected alarm was 'terrifying'

By: Action News Jax

Updated:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - 5:40 p.m. Friday UPDATE: SMG, which manages the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, released the following information and updated timeline of the fire alarm that caused a delay during Thursday night's Florida Georgia Line concert:

"Last night during the Florida Georgia Line concert at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, a fire alarm was activated, causing a temporary delay in the show.  While a thorough review of last night’s event is on-going, additional details about the timeline are as follows:  

"At 9:43 p.m., an alarm in the upper level of the Arena detected smoke, triggering the fire alarm system which activated the automated voice evacuation messaging inside the Arena.  Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, along with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office were on site and responded immediately to the alarm along with personnel from SMG.

"Public safety and Arena personnel immediately began to determine the source and reason for the alarm so that a safety assessment could be made, the alarm reset and the evacuation lifted.  

"At 9:51 pm, after a thorough investigation of the affected area, it was determined that smoke from the concert pyrotechnics activated the alarm.  The building was deemed safe, the alarm system was deactivated and patrons were allowed to re-enter the venue for the completion of the concert.  

"Shortly after 10:00 p.m., the concert resumed and was performed in its entirety.  The total delay from the point of the initial alarm was just over 20 minutes.

“The safety of our guests is the number one priority at all times and we pledge that commitment as we continue to review the systems and protocols in the Arena.  We are thankful for the collaboration of our public safety partners and personnel who did their best to work in unison to provide the appropriate response to an otherwise frightening experience for many,” said Bill McConnell, General Manager, SMG Jacksonville.  He continued, “We appreciate the patience and understanding of all guests and thank our friends at Live Nation and the entire Florida-Georgia Line production for their response and for delivering Jacksonville another night of amazing entertainment.”   

10 a.m. Friday UPDATE: The Jacksonville Memorial Arena released a statement about the incident during a Florida Georgia Line concert Thursday night that frightened concertgoers. 

"We are conducting a thorough review of the safety protocols at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena to ensure that proper procedures were followed last night.  In addition, we have begun a full building alarm systems review to determine the exact source of the alarm and to assess performance of the alarm and notifications systems at the JVMA," said the statement from Director of Sales and Marketing, Alex Alston. 

The Arena also stated that upon completion of the review they would advise the media if there would be more information to report. 

One concertgoer posted on the Action News Jax Facebook page about the experience.

"I would like to thank you guys for reporting this correctly. Too many places are reporting it as 'a small interruption'. An emergency being reported, (an) alarm going off, the band running off stage, and then a whole arena running out for safety is not a small interruption and it is a terrifying moment. Not one security guard could say what was happening and finally an officer said 'get to your car now, don't stop just keep going'," posted the concert-goer.

9:27 a.m. Friday UPDATE: 

Representatives for the Arena said they would be putting out a press release Friday morning.

Original Story:

The Florida Georgia Line concert at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena was interrupted on Thursday night after an fire alarm sounded.

Several Action News Jax employees who were at the concert said the band sprinted off the stage and the lights came on.

Many people exited the building at that time.

“It’s terrifying you hear about things happening across the country it’s just like it will never happen at home but it can," said concert-goer Nicole Macphail.

SMG, which manages the arena, released a statement that said a smoke detector was triggered in the catwalk and caused the alarms to go off:

"Tonight, during the Florida Georgia Line concert at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, a smoke detector in the catwalk was triggered, setting off an alarm which caused a temporary delay in the show.

"Once the source of the alarm was detected and safety was ensured, the alarm system was reset and the show resumed. We appreciate the patience of our guests and thank Florida Georgia Line for giving Jacksonville a terrific show."

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