Last Sunday on October 1, the senseless Las Vegas shootings at the Route 91 Harvest Festival shocked us completely. While concerts are usually places people go to let loose and celebrate life, this event took a horrific turn.
Now considered one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, 59 people lost their lives and 489 were injured. That's 548 people impacted physically. That doesn't even count impacted friends, family, and loved ones. Or the endless psychological and emotional repercussions of such a tragic event that touched everyone in attendance that night.
In today's world, we've sadly learned that people WILL act out in anger, fear, and hate. It is our job as artists to both: NEVER be one of those people, and to come together bravely in the face of adversity, lifting each other up whenever necessary. We know that as artists, sometimes we need to speak for those that don't have a voice. To showcase the strengths of the marginalized. And to use our empathetic skills to show people what's been in front of them all along: that love always wins.
Since last Sunday's attack, artists across America have come together to support Las Vegas and those affected. From fundraising, to blood donations, to artistic support, artists have gone all-in for Las Vegas. Here are a few examples:
Acceptd #StandUpForArt Video + Fundraiser
Here at Acceptd, we immediately jumped into action to show our unity and support last week. We donated, then brought together artists in our network across the country to make this video in support of the Clark County Commissioners Office gofundme. These gofundme donations will go to the victims and their families. Check out the video here:
Jason Aldean - Back On Tour!
This well-known country artist was on stage during the time of the shooting. He did cancel three shows to show his respects and recuperate. But he is now bravely back on tour as of October 12, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mr. Aldean released the following statement last week:
"Our first time back onstage will be a very tough and emotional thing for us, but we will all get through it together and honor the people we lost by doing the only thing we know how to do – play our songs for them. I hope everyone understands why we can’t play this weekend and I’m sorry if anyone is disappointed."
So Much Blood Has Been Donated to the Cause, They Can't Keep Up With Storage
Blood can only be stored for up to six weeks. People have come out in droves to the point that Las Vegas can't keep up with the donations! Officials say the best way people can help moving forward is to become a regular donor.
"Volunteer blood donors are needed each and every day to help save lives,” the American Red Cross said in a statement.
All types of people are in this video below: young, old, short, tall, big, small, and each and every shade of skin. Taken the day after the shooting, this line wrapped around the block starting at 6:30 AM. Check out this amazing display of unity here:
Saturday Night Live Cold Open: Jason Aldean
Don't have goosebumps yet? Listen to Jason Aldean's appropriate cover of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" below. He paid homage to the recently late musician, while making a statement, given the song's title. His lead-in monologue spoke directly to those impacted by the Vegas shooting:
"We hurt for you. We hurt with you. But you can be sure that we're gonna walk through these tough times together. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit: it's unbreakable." Watch the video here:
We want to join Jason Aldean in not backing down when it comes to art. Therefore, we will continue to stand strong together in the face of senseless violence. While we hope fear won't stop people from attending events that give us joy, like concerts, festivals, and plays, we know that safety concerns are front-of-mind right now. Safety tips include: carrying your cell phone, checking for emergency and fire exits upon arrival to the venue, and talking to the venue security team about their emergency evacuation plans. Investigating the venue online before you attend will help you to feel prepared in case of emergency. And as always, make sure someone knows where you're going to be.
While tragedies like the Vegas shooting remind us that darkness and evil are possible, we want to offer you a voice of guidance. That it's okay to keep believing in art. To keep making art. To be there for each other. We need art now, more than ever before. We need to Stand Up For Art.
In closing, remember the perfect words of Tom Petty:
"No, I'll stand my ground, Won't be turned around.
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down... Gonna stand my ground.
And I won't back down."
Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and those impacted by the Las Vegas Shooting. Donate to the Las Vegas Victims' Fund here: https://www.gofundme.com/dr2ks2-las-vegas-victims-fund.