Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Las Vegas Concertgoers Trampled During Festival Performance

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Posted on: May 15, 2022, 11:56h. 

Last updated on: May 15, 2022, 02:06h.

Reported gunfire Saturday night during the “Lovers & Friends” weekend concert at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds turned out to be unfounded. But at least three people were injured during the confusion and associated trampling. An estimated hundreds to thousands of anxious attendees rushed to exits for their safety, TMZ and Variety reported.

“Lovers & Friends” weekend concert at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds
“Lovers & Friends” weekend concert audience at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, pictured above. The sound of gunfire lead to what some described as a stampede. Three people were injured. No gun was fired, police later revealed. (Image: KVVU)

Three concertgoers suffered minor injuries in the incident. They still required medical attention. They were transported to a local hospital. Their current conditions were unavailable today.

Many audience members, upon hearing what they thought was gunfire, fled the concert grounds at about 10:30 pm, KLAS, a local TV station, reported. TMZ described it as a “stampede.” But soon after leaving the festival grounds, audience members appeared relaxed.

The show stopped temporarily during the confusion on its first day. It soon resumed. The two-day concert continues today.

“Las Vegas Metro PD investigated reports of a security incident and determined there was a false alarm. The festival has been given clearance to continue. We’d like to thank the local authorities for their quick response,” festival organizers reported in a statement.

A “report of gunfire heard near the festival was deemed unfounded. At this time, there is no evidence of a shooting,” the LVMPD further tweeted.

The Las Vegas Festival Grounds is located on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. It holds about 85,000 people. Phil Ruffin owns the open-air facility. Circus-Circus is nearby.

Usher Among Headliners

Among the featured performers this weekend are Usher, Lauryn Hill, Ludacris, Ne-Yo, TLC, as well as several R&B and Hip-Hop musicians from the 1990s.

Because of the large audience, traffic is not allowed on South Las Vegas Boulevard for the weekend.

The “Lovers & Friends Festival” is operated by Live Nation.

Deadly Memories

Given the prior mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, police and the public likely remain on edge as the concert continues.

It was close to five years ago, on Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay hotel on the audience attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. He sprayed bullets at the crowd of concertgoers below and across the Strip from his suite.

Hundreds were either wounded or killed. Paddock committed suicide before police could arrest him. Police never disclosed a motive for the shooting. It has become the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

MGM Resorts International, which owned Mandalay Bay, settled litigation arising from the mass shooting for $800 million. Live Nation was among the concert organizers.

A general theme of the litigation was that defendants failed to adequately protect concertgoers. Allegations range from MGM’s alleged lapse in monitoring the activities of its guests, to Live Nation failing to clearly mark emergency exits and train staff for such an incident.

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