The Future of Outdoor Concerts

A first hand account of the new concert security measures after the tragic Las Vegas Shooting.


The view from the lawn at the Jack Johnson concert at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Jules Whitaker, Staff Writer

Sophomores Lily Riggs, Maya Fisher and Katie Nelson attend the Jack Johnson concert at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre a few days after the tragic Las Vegas shooting.

Similar to how 9/11 forced America to improve airport security, the Vegas Shooting has forced future outdoor concerts to make changes to their security plans in order to protect concert-goers.

On October 1, 2017, the largest U.S. mass shooting in modern history took place at a concert in Las Vegas. People from all over were attending Route 91 Harvest Festival, an outdoor country music festival, when a gunman named Stephen Haddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, located right next to the grounds hosting the festival. Haddock unleashed rounds of ammunition into the crowd, killing 59, and injuring nearly 500 others. After investigating the hotel room Haddock stayed in, officers found 47 firearms that are confirmed to be registered under his name.

Since this tragic event, musicians have not canceled their shows, hoping to help America heal and create a sense of normalcy. They continue to play their concerts at stadiums and amphitheaters. There’s been a noticeable change in the amount of staff and security. Students from Robinson attended a Jack Johnson concert at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater recently after the attack and noted the difference in security.

“I had been to the theatre before but it was different this time,” Lily Riggs (’20) said. “There were a lot more sheriffs and it was kind of eye-opening. I was a little more nervous after realizing why there was more security, which I usually never felt at concerts.”

Riggs said that once the concert started,  she was still able to find a way to enjoy herself. She attended the concert with two friends, Maya Fisher (’20) and Katie Nelson (’20).

Fear is ever-present in our daily lives, and much of the overall population feels unsure about the world we live in. In the wake of the shooting, venues have increased bag checks, metal detector scans, and ticket verification as security teams step up to reassure concert goes.

“I was in the lawn, so like on the outside [of the amphitheater], and it was scary,” Nelson said. “But you know, you just gotta live your life, and whatever happens, happens.”