This past weekend, the music industry was shaken by the murder of singer — and The Voice alum — Christina Grimmie after a concert in Orlando, Fl. While signing autographs and meeting with fans following her show on Friday night, a gunman approached her and opened fire. The 22-year-old died in hospital later that night.
Many of us may not have been fans of Grimmie’s music, some of us may not have known her at all, but whether you were a fan or not, her death is something that we need to discuss. Her death affects all music lovers, because it’s a tragedy that hits close to home.
Why? Because this random act of senseless violence occurred at a concert.
— Christina Grimmie (@TheRealGrimmie) June 11, 2016
For many of us, concerts are a place to escape. We can forget about everything that is happening, and just enjoy the music. Concerts are almost euphoric; that person you spend hours listening to at home, reading articles about and watching videos of, is in front of you. The person who helped you through so many struggles is there in the flesh, and even though you may not be able to go up and thank them personally, in that moment, just being there is enough. It’s supposed to be an emotional and fun experience, a night to remember, but after Friday’s tragedy, many will remember that night for the wrong reasons.
As music lovers, the thought of our favourite artist being shot is unimaginable, but imagine those poor fans who had to witness Christina Grimmie being shot right in front of them. They must have been ecstatic just to have the chance to meet her, and instead, they are now traumatized for life because of one person’s inexplicable act of violence, and plagued with thoughts about how they could’ve easily been injured or killed, too. Those fans did not deserve this, and Grimmie and her family sure as hell did not deserve this.
We don’t go to concerts fearing for our lives, and we shouldn’t have to. Similarly, artists don’t expect to be in danger when they’re performing, and they certainly don’t expect to be harmed when they’re meeting with fans, their biggest supporters. This is just another example of the senseless gun violence that plagues the United States, and only adds to the list of places where we once felt comfortable that are now another place of fear — movie theatres, schools, and now concerts and nightclubs (following another tragedy in Orlando this weekend, this time a shooting at a local gay club, killing 50 people and injuring another 53). Concerts are a safe haven, much like how a gay club is a safe haven for many LGBT individuals, and these gunmen are trying to take those places away from us.
This piece is not meant to be a statement on gun policies in America, nor is it meant to keep rehashing the gruesome details of Grimmie’s death, but instead, it’s just a reminder to all the music lovers out there: Don’t let a few hateful people ruin your sanctuary. Music is supposed to be healing, and concerts should be exactly that: a sanctuary. A safe haven. We cannot let hate win.
From all of us here at CONFRONT Magazine, we send our condolences to the family and friends of Christina Grimmie and those affected by the massacre at Pulse Nightclub.