While most of concerts over the past few years have been quite well organized and secure, there is a number of shows that marked our history with tragic facts such as death, blood and sad long-term consequences. In this article we present to you a short chronicle of such memorable, in a bad sense, events:
The Who Concert in Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, December 3, 1979 is considered the one of bloodiest concerts in the history of the US nightlife with the death toll of 11 people. Tragedy occurred due to the crowd rushing for seating after the doors were opened and stepping to death some of the fans. Interestingly, concert was still held and The Who notified about the disaster only after the concert was over.
Callejeros concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina took 194 lives when fire broke in the nightclub on December 30, 2004. Fire was initiated by pyrotechnic flare that organizers ordered to use as special effects. Out of 3000 people who attended 714 were reported as injured due to inability to exit the building on time. Most of the doors were tightly shut to control sneaking in without paying.
Damageplan concert in Alrosa Villa nightclub was by far most dramatic in the US nightlife history. On December 8, 2004 Darrell Abbott was shot while performing in front of 250 witnesses. Drama didn’t end on Durrell. After shooting lead guitarist of Damageplan, gunman opened fire on public shooting total of 3 more and injuring 7 before being taken down by a policeman.
Great White’s concert at The Station Nightclub in February 20, 2003 claimed 100 lives when, similar to Callejoros’s, fire ignited the building due to unsafe use of pyrotechnic. Out of total 460 people attended about half were injured in addition to deaths. When the fire broke in the middle of the Great White’s opening song most of the fans rushed through a main door unaware of other 3 side doors and blocked the exit.
The Free Altamont Rolling Stones Concert took place on December 6, 1969. Rolling Stones took responsibility for organization of the event and by virtue of creativity invited Hells Angels to be part of the security. Angels did their job and arguably saved Mick Jagger from assassination by stabbing one of the fans who drew a gun while standing right before the stage. Unusual violence in over 300,000 crowd during the concert resulted in 4 deaths. While compared to other events, Altamont Free Concert is not considered the most tragic, but is certainly the most talked about up until today.
While this article is about deadly concerts we must mention the absolute deadliest nightclub event that occurred at the Cocoanut Grove Club in Boston on November 28, 1942. During the regular nightclub activity a soldier was trying to put back a light bulb that he removed to get privacy kissing his girlfriend. Later when attempting to put a light bulb back in the dark, soldier lit a match that fell into a pot with artificial palm tree that in a just seconds put on fire surrounding decoration area and then entire nightclub. Event claimed 492 people thus entering the history as the most tragic in the night club industry.