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Rock Canyon High School's Student Newspaper

the Rock Online

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the Rock Online

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Having “Faith in the Future”

The dangers of outdoor concert venues and how to stay safe.
Kyle+Walsh%E2%80%99s+25+car+sits+on+the+side+of+the+road+with+dents+all+over+from+the+storms+hail+June+22.+No+windows+were+cracked+or+broken.+%E2%80%9CWhen+we+realized+we+needed+to+take+shelter%2C+every+spot+was+already+taken+so+we+had+to+huddle+with+a+group+under+the+trees%2C%E2%80%9D+Walsh+said.+%E2%80%9CAll+I+could+hear+was+the+thunder+and+people+screaming.+Everyone+was+getting+pelted+on+their+backs+from+the+hail.+It+left+marks.%E2%80%9D
media by Ella Heimer
Kyle Walsh’s ’25 car sits on the side of the road with dents all over from the storm’s hail June 22. No windows were cracked or broken. “When we realized we needed to take shelter, every spot was already taken so we had to huddle with a group under the trees,” Walsh said. “All I could hear was the thunder and people screaming. Everyone was getting pelted on their backs from the hail. It left marks.”

Every year, hundreds of musicians from all over the world come to Colorado to perform at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, an outdoor concert venue known for its scenery and natural acoustics.

What Red Rocks is also known for is the rain or shine policy, a 50/50 chance you’ll either get a storm or sunshine at your concert.

On Wednesday evening of June 21, hundreds of people took their seats after waiting for hours in line to see Louis Tomlinson. Tomlinson, mostly known as a former member of the band One Direction, had just released his second solo album, Faith in the Future, and started the associated world tour.

Fans dressed in black and red, traded bracelets, bought merchandise.  Shortly after taking their seats, the first opening act of the night, Andrew Cushin, took the stage.

After his performance, a weather delay was displayed on the video screens. Showers were forecasted for that night, but what actually rained down from the sky that evening was not.

After 45 minutes, the weather delay had finally cleared. Staff announced that other bands such as The Snuts, would not be performing due to the weather. The night concluded with a hail storm as people scurried to find shelter around the stage.

Kyle Walsh ‘25 was one of many who attended the concert.

“They seemed more like casual alerts and no one really took them seriously. They said they advised us to return to our cars, but everyone with general admission seats did not want to move because we didn’t want our seats taken after waiting three hours in line,” Walsh said.

Many people didn’t expect this delay to result in large golf ball-sized chunks of hail falling from the sky, and after hours of waiting to watch the bands, they did not leave their seats.

With shaking hands, Kyle Walsh ‘25 takes a selfie while leaving the venue after the hail storm June 21. Hailed piled up on the ground, forming the white hills seen behind Walsh. “At first, it didn’t hurt, so we thought it was funny to take photos of ourselves in the hail and rain, but then the hail got bigger and it actually started to hurt,” Walsh said. (media by courtesy of Kyle Walsh)

“At first, it didn’t hurt, so we thought it was funny to take photos of ourselves in the hail and rain, but then the hail got bigger and it actually started to hurt,” Walsh said. “When we realized we needed to take shelter, every spot was already taken so we had to huddle with a group under the trees. All I could hear was the thunder and people screaming. Everyone was getting pelted on their backs from the hail. It left marks.”

Eventually, some were able to find shelter either provided by Red Rocks or by running to their car. However, many fans struggled to access venue shelters due to some Red Rocks staff members.

“We later learned that the workers weren’t letting people into the shelter and heard that some of them were filming people and laughing at them getting hit by hail,” Walsh said.

Red Rocks has heard about the misconduct of their employees and has even spoken about it in an interview.

“That’s absolutely the last thing you want to hear about your colleagues who are supposed to be helping to protect your fans,” Red Rocks spokesperson Brian Kitts said in an interview with Denver 7.

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