Reason to smile: Route 91 survivors bond at photo shoot

Route 91 Harvest survivors gather for a group photo at the Eldorado Canyon Mine in Nelson, Nevada on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph Route 91 Harvest survivors Christine Caria, from left, Lisa Fine, Jennifer Holub pose during a photoshoot for survivors at the Eldorado Canyon Mine in Nelson, Nevada on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph Route 91 Harvest survivors Tracy Pirtle, left, and her daughter, Kacey Martino, of Logandale, Nev., share a laugh as they pose during a photoshoot for Route 91 survivors at the Eldorado Canyon Mine in Nelson, Nevada on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph Hundreds of Oct. 1 shooting survivors, their family members and friends flooded the ghost town of Nelson on Sunday. They posed for photos, talked with one another and hugged near Eldorado Canyon Mine. Some even shared a laugh. Several wore T-shirts with orange ribbons on them. The image, often inscribed with the Oct. 1, 2017, date, has come to symbolize pain and loss, as well as hope and recovery. Thousands of people who were at the Route 91 Harvest festival since have reunited at concerts, barbecues and brunches. Sunday was different. They were there to get their picture taken. LoveWins, a group of survivors who volunteer to host benefit events for those affected by the Oct. 1 shooting, coordinated the event. The seed for the group was planted when survivor Dennis Guerrero II, a Los Angeles photographer, told another survivor about an idea for a toy and supplies drive for the families of the 58 people who were slain. He posted the idea on Facebook, where it went viral. He collected more than $20,000 in toys, gift cards and cash donations that were distributed to the families. Now, nearly five months later, LoveWins has a board of directors consisting of Route 91 survivors. Guerrero is filing for nonprofit status for the group. Guerrero has has Continue Reading

Route 91 Harvest Festival victims honored at Grammys 2018 as Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne pay tribute

By Kelli Skye Fadroski | [email protected] | Orange County RegisterJanuary 28, 2018 at 9:01 pm The world was shocked and horrified by the events that unfolded during the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on Oct. 1, 2017. A gunman shot and killed 58 and injured more than 500 concertgoers during a set by country singer-songwriter, Jason Aldean. This tragedy came just five months after the terrorist bombing at the Manchester Arena in the United Kingdom following a performance by pop star Ariana Grande. Sunday night, during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony at Madison Square Garden in New York City, country stars Eric Church, Maren Morris and the Brother Osborne paid tribute to the victims, survivors and the families of those affected by both attacks. They shared vocal duty on a tearful rendition of Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven.” Continue Reading

Fresno, let’s be a fun town with a great music festival. Don’t mess this up.

Why make an easy decision when you can waste taxpayer time and money just to make the same decision in two weeks? On Thursday night, the Fresno City Council took up the issue of Grizzly Fest 2018. The local music festival sought a special event license agreement that would bring Snoop Dogg, Nas, Foster the People and a dozen other musical acts to northeast Fresno’s Woodward Park on May 18-19. The proposed agreement would allow Grizzly Fest to stage live music until midnight – two hours after the city’s noise ordinance currently allows. It was a slam-dunk proposal that organizers say would bring $2 million to the city and its businesses, as well as sense of community and pride in a festival that could eventually put Fresno on the map for music-lovers. Grizzly Fest has operated without incident for four years, and its promoter, Aren Hekimian, goes through great pains every year to keep it a cheap, local event — when he could make more money in other cities. If Grizzly Fest goes well and meets the city’s satisfaction, Hekimian would bring a second festival to the park in October. And yet, the council voted 5-2 to continue the hearing for two weeks, with Council President Esmeralda Soria and Councilman Paul Caprioglio casting the dissenting votes. A subcommittee will now be formed, consisting of Councilmen Garry Bredefeld, Clint Olivier and Luis Chavez, to meet with the Grizzly Fest promoters and city staff to “find some sort of solution that’s good for both sides.” Bredefeld suggested the idea — and maybe the council voted with him to exercise prudence and caution. However, that decision costs money. Your money. My money. We are spending money to fund discussions on a no-brainer event that has grown successfully without incident for four years, bringing in national entertainment acts and attracting music lovers from outside the city. And who knows what could happen. Larger promoters are watching our homegrown Continue Reading

Country stars from Vegas festival to perform Grammy tribute

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Three performers at last year's Route 91 Harvest Festival, where a gunman opened fire on fans, will perform a tribute at this year's Grammy Awards to honor victims killed at live music events this past year. Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne, who performed at the three-day country festival prior to the mass shooting last October, will collaborate on a special performance at the 60th annual Grammy Awards, airing live on CBS from New York on Jan. 28. The shooting in Las Vegas was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. modern history. It came in a year when 22 people were killed in a bombing outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, in May. Church headlined the first night of the festival, which was the last night of his tour. A gunman perched in a window of a hotel-casino overlooking the outdoor festival opened fire on the crowd during the final night of the festival as Jason Aldean was performing, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. "In all honesty, there's not a day that goes by since that day that I have not thought of it and thought of the people and the victims," Church told The Associated Press. "That being our last show of the year, I took it in differently than I have maybe taken in other shows. I savored it. I remember everything about it." Church, who wrote a song called "Why Not Me" immediately after the shooting, said he knew some of the victims because they were members of his tight-knit fan club and said he appreciates that the Grammy producers wanted to reserve time in the show to remember those music fans who had been lost. "Mass shootings, they happen every year, unfortunately," Church said. "But this year was a little bit unique in that you had two happen at music events and one of those was the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. It's been a tragic year." Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the Grammys, said the country artists will perform a classic Grammy-winning song, which hasn't Continue Reading

‘Flip or Flop’ star Tarek El Moussa left early from Las Vegas music festival before mass shooting

"Flip or Flop" star Tarek El Moussa went to the Route 91 Harvest in Las Vegas on Sunday, but had already left the music festival when a gunman opened fire on the crowd. The HGTV star offered his condolences for those affected by the horrific tragedy in an Instagram post hours after at least 59 people were killed, and over 500 others were injured. "I was there last night at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in #Vegas. My friend Robert wanted to come home early which we did," he wrote. "My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy." "It's times like this that remind us we need to treat everyday with the importance it deserves," El Moussa continued. "Give your family and friends a hug today and let them know they are safe and loved." The horrific attack was carried out by a shooter, Stephen Paddock, perched inside a 32nd-floor hotel room at the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Jason Aldean was performing onstage when the gunman opened fire on the audience of more than 22,000 people. It’s the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Paddock shot and killed himself before authorities arrived to his room, officials say. El Moussa's separated wife Christina — whom he still stars on "Flip or Flop" with — shared a "Pray For Las Vegas" post to her Instagram on Monday. "This hit WAY too close to home. This tragedy puts a lot of things in perspective," she wrote. "Life is short. Be kind. Be grateful." Tarek and Christina split last December, a few months after police came to their home in response to a call regarding a man with a gun. Tarek has since claimed that he was the one with the weapon, which he was carrying to protect himself from animals as he went for a walk. Continue Reading

How to check on friends, family in the wake of deadly Route 91 Las Vegas shooting

Hundreds are awaiting word from friends and family in Las Vegas following the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. Facebook has deployed a digital safety check-in, allowing users to easily get updates on the status of loved ones in the vicinity of the Route 91 Harvest concert shooting. Additionally, updates, photos, emergency contact numbers and resources for those looking to lend a helping hand can be found on the social media site. Users should be wary when sifting through links for updates, however. Twitter is also being used as a resource for people frantically searching for festival attendees, though Buzzfeed has warned that a number of false missing persons reports and updates on the situation appear to be cropping up on the site. Those who don't see social media updates from friends and relatives potentially affected by the deadly shooting are being urged by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to call 1-866-535-5654. Police have yet to release names of those killed or injured in the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. It remains unclear how many are missing at this time. The shooting began shortly after 10 p.m. as country superstar Jason Aldean performed. Stephen Paddock, the man identified as the shooter, was confirmed dead at about midnight. He's said to have carried out the attack from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, not far from where the concert was taking place. Investigators are still searching for more information about the tragedy. Continue Reading

Las Vegas festival at center of mass shooting was one of country music’s biggest annual events

The Las Vegas music festival where Sunday night's horrific mass shooting took place was in its fourth year and had been a major draw for country music fans ever since its inception. Located outdoors within the famed Las Vegas strip, this year's Route 91 Festival sold out of passes before anyone took the stage this past weekend. The event was created by entertainment and live-music giant Live Nation as a way of bringing together some of country music's biggest stars for a three-day weekend full of powerful performances. This year's festival — which ran from Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 — featured major headliners including Eric Church on Friday, Sam Hunt on Saturday and Jason Aldean on Sunday. Aldean was performing onstage when a gunman located on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Resort and Hotel opened fire on the crowd, killing at least 58 people and injuring over 500 more in what is the deadliest public mass shooting in modern American history. The crowd at this year's festival included 22,000 attendees, according to CNN, though it's unclear how many people were there at the time of the shooting. People spent $210 for a general admission three-day weekend pass, while some spent as much as $750 for access to a VIP suite. Aldean was the final performer of the weekend. Earlier performers included Lee Brice, Maren Morris, Jake Owen, Big & Rich, Kane Brown and Josh Abbot Band. Owen had recently completed his set when the shooting began, but remained near the stage to support his fellow singer. "It was ringing off the top of the stage, hitting trailers, people scattering," Owen said of the gunfire in a Monday-morning interview with CNN. "It was chaos. I have never and don't ever want to be part of anything like this again." Aldean, meanwhile, expressed his heartbreak in an Instagram post shortly after the attack, adding that he and his team were safe. "Tonight Continue Reading

Las Vegas shooting: Country music stunned by mass shooting at Route 91 Festival

The country music world took to social media in early Monday to express grief following a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip left at least 59 people dead. Singer Jason Aldean was reportedly on stage when a "lone wolf" gunman opened fire on stage Route 91 Harvest Festival held at the Mandalay Bay Casino. He confirmed is safety via an Instagram post.  More: Las Vegas shooting during Jason Aldean show: What We Know More: Las Vegas shooting: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says 'tragedy hits close to home' "Tonight has been beyond horrific," Aldean wrote. "I still don't know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate"According to the festival's website Aldean was Sunday evening's headliner,  Jake Owen, Big  & Rich and Kane Brown also performed earlier in the day.  More: Las Vegas shooting: 'There's people bleeding and lying in the street,' Jake Owen recounts More: Las Vegas shooting: Chris Young recounts horrific moments as gunfire erupted But the shock was not limited to those present for the shooting.  Police said at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured in the shooting, which happened late Sunday evening. More: Las Vegas Strip shooting: More than 50 dead, over 200 injured Police said the shooter had fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said officers responded and the suspect, identified as Stephen Paddock, killed himself before officers stormed the room.     Continue Reading

Las Vegas shooting: What is the Route 91 Harvest festival?

The Route 91 Harvest festival, near the Mandalay Bay, was the scene of a shooting spree that left at least 50 and injured 400 more. Until Sunday evening, the three-day country music festival that began Friday, Sept. 29 was a time of enjoyment, with concert-goers sharing blissful photos from the concert ahead of the shooting using the hashtag #RT91Harvest. Here's what else we know about the festival sponsored by SiriusXM: When did it start?Billed as a #ThreeDayNeonSleepover, the first Route 91 Harvest festival took place in October 2014. Jason Aldean, who was a headlining act this year, played the inaugural event along with Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Dierks Bentley. Rolling Stone called it one of the first of its kind after the inaugural weekend for bringing a heavy-hitting billing of top country artists and up-and-comers to Vegas, and reporting that the venue catered to 30,000 strong.Who were some of this year's headlining acts?Eric Church took the stage Friday night as the main act, following a day of performances by Lee Brice, Brothers Osborne and Michael Ray.On Saturday, hip hop cross-over Sam Hunt closed out the day of music from fellow performers Maren Morris, Lauren Alaina, Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots and Brett Young, among others.The acts seem to have been a big draw for attendees, who were reportedly in the tens of thousands. On June 17, the festival announced via Instagram that the event had sold out "in record time." According to the festival's website, a general admission pass for the entire festival cost $210. Various VIP packages were available ranging from $375 to $750.  Who else played on Sunday?Aldean was performing as the shots began. According to the festival schedule, he was to take the stage at 9:40 p.m. Owen, Big & Rich, Kane Brown, the Josh Abbott Band, Tyler Reeve and Dee Jay Silver were slated to take the Main Stage Sunday, prior to Aldean's performance. More: Continue Reading

Lost Lake Festival in Phoenix: What you need to know

The first Lost Lake Festival is almost here, with more than 45,000 music fans expected to descend upon Phoenix's Steele Indian School Park on Oct. 20-22. The music, culinary and arts extravaganza will feature top-tier musicians including Chance The Rapper, The Killers and Major Lazer; a culinary area curated by Chris Bianco; a gaming area hosted by Walter Productions; and a marketplace showcasing local artisans and works from up-and-coming artists. In light of the mass shooting more than two weeks ago at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Lost Lake organizers have updated security procedures and are working closely with local and federal law enforcement and emergency management officials. The festival's parent company, Superfly, released this statement:"We have strengthened our security protocols through both concealed and visible measures at the festival entrances, inside the festival grounds and around the perimeter of Steele Indian School Park. Patrons should be prepared for bag searches, pat downs and metal detectors at the festival entrance points throughout the weekend."More information about what can and can't be brought into the festival is below. Here's a complete guide for anyone attending the fest.Hours: 2-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20. 12:30-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. 12:30-10:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22. Location: Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Tickets: It's not too late to get tickets. Single-day tickets are $89.50 for general admission, $224.50 for VIP. Three-day tickets are $239.50 for general admission, $574.50 for VIP. The festival is free for children younger than 10. Your ticket will be emailed to you prior to the event. If you don't receive it within 48 hours call the Frontgate support line at 888-512-7469. A ticket for each day will be sent. VIP ticket holders will exchange their Continue Reading