Country Music Concerts Are The New Shark Attacks
If you go swimming in the ocean you will be attacked by a shark and die!!!
Well, that’s the gist of the reporting that occurred over the Fourth of July weekend when a long distance swimmer was bitten by a shark off Manhattan Beach in southern California.
The way the media handled the unfortunate attack you would have thought every swimmer who puts a toe into the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean gets chomped on by a shark.
In 2013, the International Shark Attack File confirmed 72 incidents of unprovoked shark attacks. That’s not in California. That’s not in the United States. That’s in the world. There are more than seven billion people on the planet and a lot of them go into an ocean. The fact that only 72 people were bitten in a calendar year is an infinitesimally small percentage.
You’re more likely to be on the wrong end of a lightning bolt then you are to be caught in between the molars of a great white. Also, Fido is more dangerous than Jaws. You’re far more likely to be killed by a dog then you are by a shark.
It sucks to be bitten by the sea’s apex predator but it’s extremely, extremely rare. That’s something the news media doesn’t tell you.
Apparently, the next deadly phenomenon is the country music concert. If you go see Kenny Chesney or Brad Paisley you will die!!!
That’s the tone of the several articles including “Are Country Concert Tragedies The New Normal” posted on CMT.com. Author Alison Bonaguro references recent tragedies at Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, and Luke Bryan concerts.
One man was found dead at Aldean’s July 18 concert in Cleveland, 50 concert goers were arrested at Urban’s show on July 26, and 34 people were taken to the hospital when Bryan rocked Pittsburgh.
There is no rash of concert music tragedies. There is no epidemic of death that breaks out whenever a guitar starts a twangin’ and a singer dons a cowboy hat.
Here’s what happened: there was a death at a Jason Aldean concert. It’s very rare for someone to die at a concert, and it usually raises interest in the subject. Therefore, the media begins looking for similar stories and what do you know? They find them.
Deaths at music concerts are sensational. They’re sensational because they’re rare. Yet that rarity is ignored when the media reports on them.
Of course, the media was always going to find more “tragedy” stories. Since their inception, regardless of genre, large outdoor concerts have produced arrests and trips to the hospital.
If you don’t believe me just ask the staff at Barclays Center or Staples Center. For collaboration, speak to those who collect Chicago event tickets or Madison Square Garden tickets. If you need more proof seek the experiences of employees at Red Rocks, Wolf Trap, and Bethel Woods. When you have lots of people gathered in one spot bad things will happen. Add hot weather, alcohol, and drugs to the mix and it’s not a question of “if” but “when.”
If you ask me, arrests and hospital visits aren’t tragic. They are a staple of the live music experience. They are no different than guitar amps, high-priced refreshments, and inappropriately dressed women.
A concert should be a joyous event that transpires without a hitch. Most of the time that’s true as the overwhelming majority of concerts occurs without issues.
That’s not to say tragedy is always avoided. In 1979, 11 people died at a Who concert in Cincinnati. In 2000, nine rock fans perished at a Pearl Jam concert in Denmark. In 2003, one hundred people lost their lives in a fire that broke out during a Great White concert in Rhode Island.
If you consider just how many concerts go off in a calendar year tragedies like the ones mentioned in the above paragraph, and many others that have been omitted, happen infrequently at best. No matter how you look at it, it’s incredibly safe to attend any type of concert especially country music concerts.
Bonaguro does hit on part of the problem, at least the part that pertains to country music shows, and that is the crowds are getting larger. For the most part, genre has nothing to do it. It’s the size of the event—more people equal more problem.
Regardless of size, there’s a surefire way to avoid most tragedies that may happen at a music concert and that’s to stay sober. The overwhelming majority of problems at live music events stem from drug and alcohol intoxication.
Being sober won’t necessarily protect you from the stupidity of others, but at least you’ll be sharp mentally and able to react to inebriated buffoonery in a swift and responsible manner.
What about accidents? Over the years, many concerts have been marred by tragic accidents. For example, in 2011, before a Sugarland concert at the Indiana State Fair, the stage collapsed and killed seven people. Severe weather conditions were largely to blame.
By definition you can’t prevent accidents and the only way to avoid them altogether is to lock yourself in your home. That’s no good. Jason Aldean is much better live than he is on your iTunes. If you were to research deaths at music concerts you’d find that very few are the result of accidents. Most are the result of direct or indirect substance abuse.
So don’t let a little ink scare you. It’s safe to go into the water and it’s safe to go to a country music show.