As I’m sure we’re all well aware by now, a few days ago another senseless act of violence took place at a concert. As fans were leaving an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, a suicide bomber killed at least 22 people and injured another 64 more. The singer has since offered to pay for the funerals of the deceased and has suspended the remainder of her tour.
This comes after last year’s news of a shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that claimed the lives of 50 people, and 2015’s mass shooting at Le Bataclan in Paris, in which 130 people were killed while at an Eagles of Death Metal show. The band’s merch manager Nick Alexander was one of the victims.
Every act of senseless violence is a tragedy, but it hits so close to home when a concert is an attacker’s choice of scene. Concerts are where we go to feel safe and at home, and it’s so wrong for a few psychos with weapons to take that from us. We can’t be afraid to live our lives, and we can’t be afraid to continue to enjoy the music.
Concerts are a place of worship. We lift our voices together and rejoice in the music that brings us pure unadulterated happiness in life with others who understand. Concerts are where I and many others have found a place to belong. How dare an outsider try to take that away from anyone.
As someone who goes to a dozen or so concerts a month on average, naturally I was at a concert when news of the attack at the Ariana Grande show broke.
Hannah: “Is it bad that my first thought was ‘Thank god no one likes Coheed so we’re safe’?”
Me: “Well people like Green Day so I’m screwed.”
As far as I can tell we were only joking to an extent. But seeing so many of my friends on the internet posting about debating changing their travel plans for shows and festivals they feared might be next broke my heart.
But they will not win.
This community is stronger than any weapon they use against us. What these terrorists fail to realize is that for every death they’re responsible for, there’s a mosh pit somewhere full of people hugging their friends and reminding them they’re loved. For every injury, there’s a dozen crowdsurfers entrusting their lives to complete strangers, knowing they’ll raise them up and not let them fall. For every person fearful enough to sell their ticket on StubHub, there are a hundred more who know the music takes priority over the fear.
It’s unfortunate that Ariana Grande felt the need to cancel the remainder of her tour, but I’m sure the weight of those deaths are too much for her to bear right now. But my hope is that her fans continue to support her despite the tragedy, and not let the terrorists win. I hope music fans everywhere come together and remember that we are one community and we cannot be squashed.
But more than anything I hope for an end to the violence.