As the manager of a band who tour Europe regularly, the security of the band and their touring party is paramount since the events at the Bataclan, Paris in Nov 2015. The threat picture in Europe (particularly in the gigging mainstays of France and Germany) has changed to such an extent whereby management, labels and promoters can't overlook the importance of security considerations and mitigating the associated risks.
I approached BluSkills in April 2017 to provide a security operator and driver for a 12 day European tour with dates in Germany, France and Switzerland. From the outset I was impressed by their attention to detail, proactive involvement and general usefulness whilst the TM was advancing the tour. The BluSkills operator got it right straight away, his profile and demeanour with the band (often where things go awry) were exactly right and the band felt comfortable with him immediately. Getting these 'soft' skills right is vital, any awkward dynamic on tour can negatively impact the performances but this was never an issue as the operator did his job quietly, efficiently and 'in the background'.
In terms of delivering the role, the BluSkills operator was exceptional and having spent a few days on the tour myself, I was able to observe first hand. He was always in the right place at the right time, anticipating what was happening next and planning for the worst case. He dealt efficiently with venue security teams, identified any gaps in venue security measures and mitigated them. The band were always briefed clearly and appropriately on what to do, where to go and where the vehicle and operator would be. This gave the band the band the freedom to concentrate solely on performance knowing that security was in place and attended to. A particular example was the festival in Berlin, the band were headlining to 7000 in packed and narrow street, the German police were out in strength (4500) and clearly believed there was a threat (externally and potentially the crowd themselves) our operator walked through various scenarios which re assured them and allowed for a great performance.
As a driver the BluSkills operator was superb, handling the rigours of finding venues and load ins through congested foreign cities with aplomb, his driving was of the highest order and he covered 2400 miles around Europe with not even the slightest incident or navigational error.
As a former tour manager and now manager, I would have no hesitation in both using BluSkills again or recommending them to anyone in the music industry. Of the many (and i mean many) security providers i've dealt with, BluSkills are head and shoulders above the rest and re define the standard of what an operator can provide. The key difference for me is that their operators have all the requisite skills you expect (CP, med skills, driving skills) but they have the soft skills that you don't often see, whereby they have the intelligence to understand the nuances of the music world and act accordingly.