Music & Culture

Violence At Music Venues And Why We Can’t Live In Fear

By: Jordyn Tilchen//

large.loi3DwZUn8Mc2jFXPOqaQfbbZAVBBxRCihdVs0Z1ypIThere’s no possible way to make sense of the horrible tragedies that struck Orlando, Florida recently. Try as we might to make the pieces fit between live music, fun nights out with friends, and gun violence, we just won’t be able to do it. Most of the time when tragedies such as this occur, we’re expected to grieve and then eventually move on, but when tragedy strikes someone we had some level of familiarity with, or in places that we hold dear, it becomes a personal attack on all of us.

In the case of Christina Grimmie, she was looking forward to performing at a small venue in Orlando for fans that watched her on NBC’s The Voice just a few years earlier. Grimmie posted videos on Snapchat that day requesting for fans to come out to the show, prepared to play for the same type of crowd she became accustomed to on the previous dates of her tour with the band, Before You Exit. What Christina, or anyone else for that matter, couldn’t have guessed was that the night would end with an active shooter that would take her life at only 22-years-old.

In the wake of senseless tragedies like this we can’t help but want to relentlessly hit the rewind button. How could such a brutal act of violence happen in a place that people go to for relief from the stresses of everyday life? How could this happen to the artist herself? On a more personal note, I go to concerts to clear my head, to listen to talented people express what they’re passionate about, and to celebrate music as an art. The intentions of concertgoers just like me around the world are innocent and pure, but on June 10th 2016, that innocence was stripped from music fans when a horrible man targeted the talented Grimmie, walked into the venue, and mercilessly shot her.

Of course, in the midst of being unable to make sense of her death, we are left with other questions about safety at music venues, artist meet-and-greets, and whether or not we should feel scared every single time we go to a concert. The truth is, we can’t live our lives in fear of anything. To enjoy life means to go out into the world and take risks. I’m not quite sure when going to a concert and enjoying yourself became an enormous risk to take, but the world today is a frightening one, and it’s a world where unhinged monsters justify taking the lives of so many wonderful people for reasons we will never be able to comprehend.

I suppose the message here is to never stop going to concerts, supporting your favorite artists, and enjoying yourself. In the days since Christina’s untimely death and the Pulse Nightclub Massacre I’ve seen so many people write statuses and tweets about how they’re afraid to even go outside. While I can understand the fear of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, we can’t let it keep us from the things we love the most.

To the family and friends of Christina and the victims of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre, we continue to pray for you every day. And to music fans, wherever you are, continue to go to concerts and sing at the top of your lungs. This is what life is all about.