GloRilla concert at the Main Street Armory in Rochester, N.Y. early this month closed with a fatal crowd surge leaving three fans dead and several others injured. According to a report by the Associated Press, police said the stampede may have been triggered by unfounded fears of gunfire. As the show ended just after 11p.m, the concert-goers were reported to rush for the exits all of a sudden after hearing what they believed to be gunshots. Police has been investigating the incident, but found no evidence of shooting, yet.
Police said there were “many reports of potential causes” of the crush that occurred at the end of the concert, “including crowd size, shots fired, pepper spray and more”, but that “we do not have any evidence of gunshots being fired or anyone being shot or stabbed”.
Ikea Hayes, a concertgoer who survived the stampede, told local station WHEC she remembered “watching the life flash before my eyes” as she fell to the ground, saying she was holding onto another woman on the ground.
Rhondesia Belton, 33, of Buffalo; Brandy Miller, 35, of Rochester, and Aisha Stephens, 35, of Syracuse died as a result of the stampede.
The deadly concert has brought to mind the question of how many exit doors were open when the show concluded. Another matter that has remained unclear yet is how many tickets were sold to the concert. The Main Street Armory is said to have a maximum capacity of 5,000 people. Rochester Mayor Malik Evans promised a thorough investigation into whether the venue’s operators had the necessary safety measures in place for a large crowd.
The venue was shut down indefinitely and the renewal of its entertainment license was also denied by Rochester Police. “One step we can immediately take to ensure that the events of Sunday night are not repeated,” Chief David M. Smith explained their decision to deny the license in a news conference. It means that the venue is banned from hosting “any public entertainment, which includes concerts, amplified music, and athletic events or games, including volleyball or cheerleading.”
According to a report by Democrat & Chronicle, metal band Anthrax brought its 40th anniversary tour, with opening acts Black Label Society and Hatebreed, to the venue last summer. But Hatebreed ended its set early over what were described as “unforeseen production issues,” and Black Label Society and Anthrax never took the stage.
On Twitter, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian posted: “Rochester we didn’t want to cancel, we had to. The stage was broken, the venue did not fix it and it was not safe to continue the show.”
The safety of concert attendees has been a matter that has to be embraced more seriously, particularly since Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival, where 10 people were killed and dozens were injured from the crowd crush in Houston in November 2021.
Last Updated on March 17, 2023 by Dave Clark