Last week I went to see Logic at Echo Beach, and without sounding cliche - it was what I needed to do with people I love. For those who don't know Logic's most recent album focuses on things that are not the easiest to talk about - depression, suicide, race, gender, sexual orientation, and the like, in rap. It's a brilliant revelation that more artists are jumping on board with - using your platform to talk about something other than women (in a much more derogatory manner), money, cars, and drugs.
He has one song that is called "1-800" that focuses on suicide and depression, the music video puts it in the context of someone who is learning and dealing with their sexual orientation. After he finished this song, he launched into a motivational speech, which left me crying. I needed the worlds he said when I heard them and I'm sure other people do as well. You matter. You're supposed to be here. It's not the easiest thing to remember sometimes, definitely something I have been struggling with the last few days and have in the past as well, but it's true.
It was a great show and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
On a slightly different note: over the last year I have attended ~10 concerts/festivals and I am always moved at the power of music. Like I was when I saw Logic live. Like I was when I attended my first festival a few years ago. Like I was when I made connections with complete strangers because we were loving the same song, at the same venue, at the same time.
Music, for me and many others, is a space of love, healing, joy, emotions, and above all else is supposed to be a safe space.
Having now attended 8 festivals in three years, as an attendee, VIP, and press, in a one day, multi day, and camping space, I know more than anything else, people at festivals leave their baggage at the door, and have the time of their lives when they are in attendance of something so powerful that it draws audiences from all over the world in all age groups.
What happened in Vegas, and Manchester, and Paris, rocks me to my very core because I do believe that music is a safe space. Music has always been my get away. This is not okay and I am angry about it. My anger stems from the loss of life and this horrible act of violence. But also from the fact that I know that the people there would have been having the time of their lives. More serious laws/deterrents need to be enforced. All of the examples above - including the one in America - were acts of terrorism and should be treated as such.
About gun violence in the states: Why is every other "developed"/"Western" country able to deal with this problem and a country that has been labelled a "superpower" cannot get over itself long enough to deal with something that is devastating to so many people on so many levels? This is becoming commonplace and I hate that I can even say that. But there is something society can do, there is a solution, and there needs to be mass change instigated. Certain people in power in the US have said that this is "not the time to talk about gun control." And I wholeheartedly disagree because if not now, then when? How many more people need to be lost to senseless tragedies? Is there some kind of game at play that the "Worst Mass Shooting in American History" needs to meet some kind of numerical threshold? Because that's what it seems like now. These are people's lives at stake. Wake up.
We will continue to attend concerts and festivals because they heal us and they bring joy, but more importantly because we will not let the fear win, we will not let anyone take away our ability to connect with something larger than ourselves that speaks to so many others.
My heart goes out to everyone in Las Vegas, all the families, and friends affected by what happened. RIP to those who lost their lives, and I am sorry nothing was done to save your lives. You deserved better. So did everyone who was lost before you.