What Is the Route 91 Harvest Festival?
The Route 91 Harvest festival is a huge event annually in country music circles, but for many outside the country music sphere, the deadly mass shooting at the 2017 festival is their sad first introduction to one of country music's most anticipated events.
Here's everything you need to know about the Route 91 Harvest Festival:
The Route 91 Harvest Festival launched its inaugural event in October 2014. Jason Aldean performed at the festival in its first year along with Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Dierks Bentley. Aldean also headlined the closing night in 2017 and had to leave the stage when the shooting began.
The 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival ran from Friday, Sept. 29 until Sunday, Oct. 1.
The Artists on the Bill
According to the festival's website, a general admission pass for the Route 91 Harvest Festival cost $210. Various VIP packages were also available, at prices ranging from $375 to $750.
Shots rang out from a hotel room situated with a clear shot into the crowd on Sunday night. Reports say the shooting lasted from 4-5 minutes and began during Aldean's set, forcing him to flee the stage. Jake Owen, Big & Rich, Kane Brown, Josh Abbott Band, Tyler Reeve and Dee Jay Silver all performed Sunday prior to Aldean.
There have been 58 fatalities confirmed so far, with more than 500 injured. The Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The Artists Who Were Involved
A number of country singers have updated fans on their status after the horrifying events unfolded.
Aldean reacted to the shooting via Instagram later that night, writing, "“Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don’t know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe." Owen — who performed right before Aldean — recounted the shooting from side stage, while Chris Young was forced to take cover in a trailer. It's unclear why Young was at the concert site, as he was not listed as a performer Sunday night.
Authorities have identified 64-year-old Stephen Paddock as the shooter in the Route 91 Harvest Festival shootings. Paddock apparently committed suicide after shooting from his hotel room down on the 22,000 fans in attendance for nearly five minutes.
Paddock's brother, Eric Paddock, has spoken out, saying he was an ordinary man and nobody had any idea he was capable of the shootings.
"He was my brother. He was a guy. He gambled. He was nice to my kids when they went out to Vegas," Eric Paddock tells media, including PBS News Hour. "There’s no political, there’s no religious, there’s no any of that stuff."
Authorities have yet to establish a motive for the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
Photos Show Chaos, Humanity at the Route 91 Harvest Festival