Atheist Scruples: the killer concert

A concert is supposed to be something fun and entertaining and create good memories you can bring home with you and treasure. Here’s today’s scenario:

Before the rock concert, the crowd loses control and people are trampled to death. After order is restored, do you stay for the show?

There’s still a show?

I don’t think that’s a band or venue I’d want to support again if “The Show Must Go On” is their way of operating in a case like that. Take the economic hit and cancel the concert to honour those who died because of you. They didn’t come to the show intending to die.

Probably.

Gotta wonder what possesses crowd surfers though…

And now I have that song in my head.

(I only know of this song because of Moulin Rouge. What the hell is going on in this video!?)

A couple women were trampled – but lived – at a Beyoncé concert in Chicago last December. They’re now suing her and the venue for damages and negligence. They were outside waiting to get into the venue and as the concert time neared, a mob grew and started a crush when the doors finally opened. The venue crew was ill prepared for a crowd that size. They were allegedly knocked down, knocked out, and broken about in a few places.

In December of 1979, a mere seven years before this edition of A Question of Scruples came out, eleven Who fans died at a concert in Cincinnati. From the Wikipedia entry about it:

Before the show, as a sizeable crowd began to gather at one of the entryways, The Who decided to perform a late sound check. Some members of the crowd heard this and mistakenly believed that the concert was starting. In the confusion some people in the back of the crowd began pushing toward the front, resulting in a mass rush toward the entrance. This caused many people to get trampled while some suffered more serious injuries. Eleven concertgoers were unable to escape the throng of people pushing toward them and were killed by asphyxiation. There were a total of twenty-six other injuries.

The families sued the band, the concert promoter and the city itself.

The suits were settled in 1983, awarding each of the families of the deceased approximately $150,000, and approximately $750,000 to be divided among the 23 injured.

And Cincinnati instituted a ban on concerts with the kind of “first-come-first-served” festival seating that the Who show had been set up with. It was lifted in 2004 in the hopes of luring bigger names into the city but this has been met with some criticism. They have at least added some limits for organizers and venues: “nine square feet per person at a venue, and the number of tickets sold for each event is adjusted accordingly.”

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