Attending Shows In An Age Of Terror

It was only a week ago that an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England was senselessly targeted by a suicide bomber that took the lives of twenty-three adults and children, injuring 116; almost two years since Paris’ Bataclan incident where three gunmen killed 90 showgoers at an Eagles Of Death Metal concert. As the summer concert season kicks off, it raises the question of safety at venues and what we can do if anything should happen following what we’ve witnessed so far.

If you’ve attended any show within the past couple of years, the thought of safety most-likely is the first thing that comes to mind. Despite the metal detectors and (sometimes invasive) pat-downs, one might wonder how on earth anyone would pass through security with any weapon let alone detonate a bomb that could potentially kill. You might find yourself on edge, observing your surroundings a lot more or standing closer to an exit in case of an event where you need to make a mad dash for your life. It shouldn’t be this way, but unfortunately, this is the world we live in now and the more security we see, the better – even if it means we have to endure a pat-down every now and then.

Shows are supposed to be a place where we can go to let loose and watch our favorite artists bring their music to life. It’s starting to feel like whatever freedom we had – going shopping, seeing a movie, etc – is slowly being taken away from us if you really dwell upon it. There’s enough darkness in this world and for hardcore music fans, if we can’t go see a show to relieve our daily stresses, what can we do? Where can we go?

I think the entire music world is hurting right now; artists are worried for the safety of their fans while music lovers are torn on whether they should take a chance and risk their lives for an evening of live music. “I definitely don’t feel as carefree as I used to and I spend more time analyzing the behavior of those around me to see if anything is off,” shared Morgan McNair, avid concert-goer.

Though reports of terror at concerts have recently been in the news lately, for others, being aware of your surroundings is the norm. “It crosses my mind more since 9/11, but especially now since Paris and now Manchester. It’s supposed to be a place of escape, but it’s slowly just becoming a target. I find myself a bit more aware of my surroundings, and my senses are more heightened. I won’t let it stop me from enjoying a live show, though. I’ve got a few shows lined up in big venues this summer, and the best I can do is try and power through and not let it consume my brain,” shared Kelly Murphy, founder of Indie Minded and Black Lion Media.

I admit I was quite shaken after the Manchester incident and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think twice about attending The 1975′s gig at Madison Square Garden last night. But I took that chance and I’m glad I did because I would have missed out on one of the most incredible shows of my life. Once the enemy sees your fear, that’s when they have won. We can’t let any force of evil stop us from enjoying and living life. If that’s not fearless, I’m not sure what is.

As for those we’ve lost, the only thing we can do is to keep on living in kindness.