Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe is the latest notable metal musician to publicly address last week’s tragedy at the Astroworld festival.
On Friday, November 5, there was a crowd surge during Scott’s headlining set at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas. Eight people, ages 14 – 27, were crushed to death, and hundreds more were injured.
Blythe has personal experience with the subject matter. In 2012, he was arrested in Prague for an incident that had taken place at a Lamb of God show there two years prior. He was charged with the manslaughter of 19-year-old Daniel Nosek, who authorities claimed Blythe had shoved off the stage, leading to his death. Blythe spent over a month in jail before being released, and eventually returned to the Czech Republic to stand trial, where he was acquitted.
Posting to Instagram, Blythe spoke of his own responsibility for crowd safety as the frontman of a band and recommended signals fans can use to alert performers if an audience gets out of control. His post reads in full:
“Tonight my band @lambofgod will play in front of thousands of people at the @welcometorockville festival in Florida. In light of the deaths at the Astroworld Fest in Houston, I’m posting some practical info. I will not retroactively armchair quarterback the whole Astroworld thing- suffice it to say, A LOT of shit went wrong in many ways. However, I BELIEVE THE BUCK ULTIMATELY STOPS WITH THE PERSON HOLDING THE MIC- anyone who knows my story knows that I have very sad, personal experience with not stopping an out of control show- it’s something I will carry with me to my grave. Being a spokesperson for safer shows is both my responsibility as a good man & the fulfillment of a face-to-face promise I made to the family of a dead fan. SO TO THAT END:
“#1) From personal experience, I can say that from the performer’s perspective onstage at a huge festival, it can be VERY DIFFICULT to tell if something has gone wrong in the audience- the noise of the music, the roar of the crowd, the lights in your face, the thousands of people moving all at once- it makes it very hard to ascertain if there is a problem or if people are just having a good time.
“If someone is hurt, screaming “STOP THE SHOW!” at the band onstage doesn’t really work, because unless the entire audience is chanting that, it’s just gonna blend into all the noise.
“Waving your hands frantically in the air doesn’t really help either— it just looks like more movement in a sea of movement.
“What DOES help the audience let a performer know that something has gone wrong in the crowd?
“A SIGNAL. Here are 2 signals I’ve personally seen from the stage that have let me know that someone was injured in the crowd. We then COMPLETELY STOPPED the show until that person could be removed:
“A) arms held in an “x” above your head (picture 1). This is a fairly universal signal that means STOP.
“B) the “time-out” signal (picture 2- fingertips of one hand speared into the palm of the other)
“When I’ve seen several people doing these signals in a crowd together, it looks DIFFERENT than everyone else, & I’ve known something was wrong.
“#2) if someone falls, pick them up. That is how WE do it in OUR COMMUNITY.
Slipknot’s Corey Taylor addressed the tragedy as well, speaking from the stage earlier this weekend at the band’s Welcome to Rockville performance.
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November 14, 2021