Concerns arise over music festival shooting

The deadliest mass shooting in modern US history was carried out by Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday, Oct. 1.

As of the publication of this article, 59 people were killed with 527 injured when Paddock opened fire on a crowd of approximately 22,000 people that had gathered for the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

Country music artist Jason Aldean, who was headlining the last night of the open air concert, was on stage when Paddock started shooting. Aldean released a statement on Oct. 3 cancelling three of his upcoming concerts “out of respect for the victims, their families and our fans”.

There was an outpouring of support on social media from other music artists and celebrities over the tragic events. Jake Owen, Cole Swindell, Harry Styles, Cassadee Pope, and Missy Elliott were just some of the musical artists sending out thoughts and prayers to the victims.

With the start of San Francisco’s Fleet Week, a celebration of the US’s Navy and Coast Guard, on Oct. 3,  and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival which is set to take place in Golden Gate Park on Friday, Oct. 6, many have concerns about attending venues which attract such large amounts of people.

Radiology major Alexander Jang said he has been to several raves and Coachella before. The latter of which has had crowds of 125,000 in attendance. Although “not personally afraid” of attending music festivals in the future, Jang says it “would be in the back of [his] mind” that a similar emergency could happen. But when it comes to taking precautions, Jang felt there was “not much you can do”.

While music festivals have notoriously strict regulations on what can be brought inside, many find clever ways to sneak things through. Paddock evaded these security precautions by not entering the festival at all. He shot at concert goers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino which was across the street from the concert venue.

Joelle Tenderich, a journalism student, describes herself as a regular concert-goer. She said what happened in Las Vegas changes how she feels about going to such widely attended events.

“Not only that but going anywhere. Even outside,” Tenderich said.

Although she was open to taking precautions, Tenderich said she wouldn’t know what that would include since she does not know how she would protect herself.

Skyline student Ryan Matias said he has attended an EDC festival in Las Vegas before where there was a bomb threat. He still participated in the festivities but said he “wants to be more aware” when attending large festivals in the future.

Drugs and alcohol are a common part of the festival experience. MSN UK polled 2,000 summer music festival goers and found that 21% reported using illegal drugs while at a festival.

Kinesiology major Milka Abdosh feels that anyone hosting big events should “up security” but that individually, she felt that concert goers had no control over what could happen.

In the wake of the events in Las Vegas, police tasked with securing Fleet Week in San Francisco have had their discretionary time off canceled, as reported by Robert Salonga and Eric Kurhi of The Mercury News.