Country Singer & Borderline Performer Lacie Mae on Bar Shooting: 'These Tragedies Can Happen Anywhere'

Mike Nelson/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Law enforcement officers secure the road leading to the Borderline Bar and Grill where a gunman injured 11 people in Thousand Oaks, Calif. on Nov. 8, 2018.

At the age of 13, up-and-coming country singer Lacie Mae already has touring experience that would be the envy of many performers twice her age. While the Southern California-based Mae has opened for such country artists as Justin Moore and RaeLynn in recent years, she has headlined multiple music venues and festivals across California, but Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks has always held a special place in the heart of the young musician.

The bar where 12 people were killed Wednesday night when a gunman forced his way in and opened fire on the college country night has served as both Mae's regular stage when booking a nearby gig and as the spot where her parents first met. She performed at the venue's Route 91 benefit concert last year to help the victims of the Vegas shootings and her marketing manager was a frequent attendee of the club on Wednesday nights, but just happened to be out of state on Wednesday.

Billboard reached out to the teenage country songwriter for comments on the tragedy that occurred at Borderline and has shaken the local community.

Lacie Mae: I was immediately overcome with sadness and shock. I thought about all the people that I know that work there and worried for their safety. My heart broke at news of fatalities and I was overcome knowing so many people were there last night. I play there often. In fact, I had a big show opening for Jerrod Niemann at Borderline a couple weeks ago and all of my family and friends were there. I thought about what it would have been like if this had happened that night. It's hard to think about that.

I have a few friends that I know are OK, fortunately. I was very concerned about Noel Frawley, the manager at Borderline that we have become close to, and I was so relieved to see him safe in a photo on a news thread this morning. I worried about the sound engineer that always works with me and my band, the dance instructor, servers and all the other employees. I am so grateful for everyone that is safe. While I did not know personally any of the victims, I had met some of them playing there and am so saddened by this.

I love Borderline. It's sad that these tragedies can happen anywhere. I don't second-guess playing there and I will play there again. It won't be the same. Borderline has a deeper place in my heart now than ever.   

I have always thought they had great security. I've always felt safe there, especially being a minor. It sadly can happen anywhere. Being aware, having a plan and taking all the safety precautions you can is really all we can do. My dad always tells me to have a plan. Know where the exits are. Be aware of your surroundings. I'm grateful I didn't have to practice these last night, though my heart is broken for my Borderline family and everyone in our communities affected.


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