The Biggest Concert Disasters Ever

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.

Photo: Astroworld Festival / WFAA

  • 2021 Astroworld Festival

    2021 Astroworld Festival
    Video: YouTube

    On Friday November 5, 2021, eight concert attendees, all between the ages 14 and 27-years-old, were killed during Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival at NRG Park in Houston, Texas. Dozens of individuals were also hospitalized from the disaster, and according to ABC News and the victims' families, everyone associated with the festival's organization and production will be held accountable, including the rap superstar himself. Approximately 50,000 people were in attendance that evening during Scott's performance as tons of concert-goers raged and stampeded towards the stage.

  • 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. 

  • 2015 Bataclan Terrorist Attack

    2015 Bataclan Terrorist Attack
    Video: YouTube

    In November 2015, multiple terrorist strikes were carried out across Paris. A total of 129 lives were lost and 352 people were hurt. The most deadly of these attacks took place at the Bataclan theater, during a rock concert, which claimed the lives of 89 people.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant took responsibility for this strike and the others that took place throughout Paris.

  • 1979 The Who Cincinnati Concert

    1979 The Who Cincinnati Concert
    Video: YouTube

    Excited to get a prime place on the general-admission main floor at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio, in December 1979, concertgoers broke down one door to the venue and started a stampede toward the stage. Hundreds followed, rushing the doors and causing numerous others to be caught underfoot.

    Eleven perished and another eight were seriously hurt. 

  • 2014 SXSW Car Crash

    2014 SXSW Car Crash
    Video: YouTube

    Four people perished and more than 20 others were hurt in this horrible accident at the SXSW festival in March 2014. A drunk driver crashed through the barricades around the festival grounds and mowed down people in his path.

  • 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.