Sunday evening’s attack on the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas left music-lovers once again reassessing the safety of large-scale concerts. Following killings at Ariana Grande’s Manchester show this summer, Orlando's Pulse Nightclub15 months ago, and an Eagles of Death Metal performance at Paris' venue Le Bataclan in 2015, the deaths in Las Vegas have many, particularly parents, questioning whether live concerts are worth the risk and if it’s still possible to enjoy them in the light of so many valid fears.
While staying away public spaces altogether might feel like an easy way to prevent anxiety, it’s possible that doing so can actually lead to more emotional unrest. “In general, avoidance is probably not a good thing. It usually increases people’s anxiety and behavior over time. That said, if it’s overwhelming and you’re not going to be able to enjoy a concert, one should not go. But if it’s a small level of anxiety and there are reasonable reasons why it should be safe, then I think it’s advisable for people to try to live their lives as best they can,” Dr. Elana Newman, a professor of psychology at University of Tulsa and the research director for Columbia’s Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, tells Billboard.