Music Festivals
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The Biggest Concert Disasters Ever

Updated February 21, 2020 148.7k views20 items

Caused by fires, stampedes, stage collapses, and even homicides, the biggest concert disasters have caused hundreds of deaths throughout the years. Despite tight security and the best intentions, these concertgoers paid the ultimate price to see their favorite performers at these unfavorable events.

The summer of 2011 was especially deadly for outdoor concerts when 12 deaths occurred within a matter of days in two separate stage collapses. On August 13, 2011, the stage at the Indiana State Fair took seven lives while five more were lost five days later at the Pukkelpop Festival.

While these deaths were weather related, others have been ruled criminal. Pantera fans will never forget the 2004 show in which guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was shot while performing onstage with the band Damageplan in Ohio. Years earlier, at a free Rolling Stones concert in 1969, a man was stabbed and killed by a security guard.

Sadly, the concert disasters and deaths don't end there as numerous others have been killed in nightclub fires and stampedes. Whatever the cause, these unfortunate events have claimed entirely too many lives and injured far too many. 

What are the worst concert disasters ever? Take a look here to see the sad stories.

  • 2017 Fyre Festival

    2017 Fyre Festival
    Video: YouTube

    Fyre Festival, put on by rapper Ja Rule and millionaire Billy McFarland, was supposed to be this amazing VIP experience for the mega wealthy. The cheapest ticket to the festival cost $1,500, but complete VIP packages could cost up to $12,000. It promised to be the best of the best - amazing food, great accommodations on a private island in the Bahamas, and a pretty great line-up of musical artists.

    Except none of that happened. When guests arrived, they found makeshift tents, definitely non-gourmet food, and mass confusion. People spent days trying to get off the island, and a class action lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages was later filed against the organizers. 

  • 2017 Brazil Stage Collapse

    On December 17, 2017, at the Atmosphere dance festival in Esteio, Brazil, a stage collapsed during a performance by DJ Kaleb Freitas. The stage's scaffolding disassembled, possibly due to the strong winds, and Freitas was struck by detritus.

    Freitas didn't survive. Other attendees were treated for damage sustained in the incident. 

  • 2016 Pulse Nightclub Shooting

    2016 Pulse Nightclub Shooting
    Video: YouTube

    Forty-nine people were slain and 53 others were hurt in the tragedy. During gay pride month in 2016, a 29-year-old entered Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and shot clubgoers. After more than three hours and an intense standoff with police, the suspect finally perished.

    The tragedy rocked the entire nation, especially the LGBT community, which was brutally targeted in the incident.

  • 2016 Shooting At T.I. Concert

    In May 2016, T.I. was set to headline a concert at Irving Plaza in New York when a shooting took place. The tragedy left three hurt and took one life. According to police, the trouble started in the VIP area above the stage. The animosity between the rival crews of a rapper named Troy Ave and hip-hop artist Maino (who was on stage at the time) came to a head before T.I. could take the stage.

    The incident caused pandemonium in the crowd, as the audience fled. Troy Ave was among those shot, struck in the leg. He was taken to the hospital and listed in stable condition.