Photo: Live Nation’s Facebook
It’s been less than a week since terrorists brought Paris to it’s knees in a series of co-ordinated attacks; over 130 lives were taken and all we could do was sit and watch in horror.
Among those killed was Eagles of Death Metal’s merchandise manager, Nick Alexander. The Californian rock group were just starting the mainland leg of their European tour when their show at Le Bataclan was brought to an abrupt end by gunfire inside the venue.
Since then, musicians, fans and industry professionals alike have taken to social media in support of the victims of the attack, which for many is very close to home. Line of Best Fit editor Paul Bridgewater tweeted, “Familiarity brings it all closer; I relate to a concert venue in a way I can’t relate to a subway or church. The reality of our lives.”
As the gravity of the situation started to truly sink in, the cancellations followed. With France having been declared in a state of emergency by president Hollande, and the UK raising itself to a high alert for terrorism, bands had to consider the safety of themselves, their fans and their crews. Understandably, Eagles of Death Metal cancelled the rest of their tour. Fellow Californians Deftones, who were scheduled to play Le Bataclan for the three days following the attack, also called an end to their European tour, with the promise of a rescheduling announcement for ticket holders to follow. Similarly, Foo Fighters have ended their tour early; U2 and Simple Plan have both cancelled their Paris dates as well. On top of all of this Red Bull Academy Paris announced that they would no longer be running any of their shows until November 19.
But the music industry is hardly one to give up and stand still. Global ticket sales giant Live Nation dutifully pledged to increase security in its venues, stating that “The safety and security of out shows, fans, and venues continues to be our highest priority.” The company said to the New York Times that they have made plans to tighten their security procedures on a world-wide scale, but couldn’t indulge any details due to the sensitive nature of the subject.
Despite Live Nation’s reassurances, the point has been raised that small-mid sized venues are simply more at risk than those with larger capacities – after all it was the security team at Stade de France which prevented a suicide bomber from entering the stadium during the Germany vs. France game, causing him to harm only himself rather than being the cause of a ‘deadly stampede’.
It’s fair to say that, like the rest of the world, the music industry is visibly shaken. Whilst people might be uneasy at the moment, we can only hope that our live music scene will be back to its usual self before too long.
Callum Cornwell @