Riverbend Festival organizers react to Las Vegas shooting

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — In light of the Las Vegas shooting, concert festival organizers are reflecting on the situation and taking a look at safety.

Joe Dixie Fuller, the Riverbend Festival production coordinator and talent buyer says the Las Vegas shooting hits close to home. Crew members, who work the Coca-Cola stage during Riverbend, are Jason Aldean employees. They were at the concert the night of the attack.

“My first concern was God I hope they are all safe and then I found out Jake Owen was there. His road manager, Greg Fowler and I were also in Alabama together, so I knew they were there and from all indications yesterday morning by 11 o’clock I found out that everyone was at least safe, but everybody had to take cover there were holes in speakers, there were holes in Jake’s bus where they were inside trying to seek cover,” Fuller said.

Fuller says this will not be the end of outdoor concerts.

“We’re not going to let one individual’s aimless rambling takeover our industry, we are just going to have to look at it in a totally different light and we are going to have to be a lot more proactive in keeping things like this from happening,” Fuller said.

He says they’ve already started planning for next year’s festival.

“We have had two safety and security meetings and we will have several more. And I am sure this will come up and it will be addressed and we will do something about it. We will start taking a look at the whole picture and it is going to raise our awareness to start looking in the windows, start looking around, you never know,” Fuller said.

For Fuller, festival goer safety is paramount.

“It will not be compromised at any other event that friends of the festival puts on. So we’ve spent a lot of time making sure that your visit is a safe one,” Fuller said.

Fuller says the Jason Aldean crew members are now cleared to tear down their equipment. They will pack their trucks and head back to Nashville.


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