The Festival Community Can Overcome the Tragedy in Las Vegas

Article by: Ross Gardiner|@rossgardinerman

Tue October 03, 2017 | 10:27 AM

As you’re surely aware by now, on Sunday, October 1st in Las Vegas, Nevada, a terrorist opened fire on Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. At the time of writing 59 people had lost their lives, and more than 500 were injured. While there is little indication at the moment that the attack was politically motivated, it’s difficult for the festival community not to take this as an affront to our culture of love and collective celebration.

It isn’t lost on us that these horrifying scenes so often unfold in places of celebration. In the last eighteen months, we have borne witness to horrifying scenes at Bastille Day in Nice, The BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, the Christmas Market in Berlin and at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

It’s extremely saddening to have to witness yet another tragedy ruin the lives of countless people, particularly in a space that we all consider near and dear to our hearts. Festivals are acts of collective rejoice, and vital spaces in which we celebrate our similarities and embrace our differences.

While we may become numb to the headlines, we shouldn’t stop being horrified or moved to action by the needless human suffering inflicted sad, dark individuals. We shouldn't stop being there for each other, physically and emotionally, in times of need, whether on festival grounds or in daily life. Nor should we ever be deterred from coming together and celebrating humanity. We cannot allow these callous actors to plant seeds of fear or afflict our beautiful culture with paranoia and trepidation.

The festival community knows better than anyone the true power that can be derived from bringing people together. We believe in exchanging ideas, building bridges over walls, and overcoming our differences through love and curiosity. We can’t allow these attacks to push us from our safe spaces and our cultural sanctuaries. We must keep loving, laughing, dancing, smiling, sharing and caring for one another, because the collective love is immeasurably more powerful than the singular hate.