Don’t live in fear after the Manchester bombing — Keep going to shows, keep living life to the fullest

kate nash burger a go go

Kate Nash at Burger A Go Go

Manchester Bombing … Where Do We Go From Here?

Words: Sandra Olinger

The Ariana Grande concert bombing in Manchester really hits hard for me. If you’re reading this, it probably also punched you in the gut. I can’t help but tear up eveytime I see a new headline about it on Facebook, such as “the death of an 8-year-old.” Are you kidding me?! A child that has all but lived on this planet for eight years? I just can’t …

I found out about the horrible news via a text from my husband yesterday afternoon. He was prepping to direct a Linkin Park live stream when the news hit his theater. Like for many of us, it put a somber tone on the rest of our afternoons — many of which we are still struggling with today.

Yes. This tragedy hits real hard for me because I work in the music industry. Because my husband also works in music and has directed two of Ariana Grande’s shows. Because my close friends and community are all a part of this music lifestyle that we live and breathe.

We are all emotionally gutted …

Going to concerts has been and always will be a part of my life. They’re meant to be a safe place where you can let loose and enjoy the music, and performance before your eyes. They’re not meant to be a place of terror. Unfortunately, yesterday’s cruel terror attack at the Manchester arena was just that; a place of terror. It sickens me that these disgusting “humans” prayed on innocent children and young women; which is undoubtedly, Ariana Grande’s core audience. Some media outlets have gone as far as to say this was “an attack on girls and women.”

concert crowd

I guess what really scares me, is the fact that I have a little girl growing in my belly right now. She arrives this July and my husband and I couldn’t be more thrilled. But hearing news like this only make my existing fears of motherhood, and the responsibility of a life, all the more prevalent.

I still can’t believe I’m having a baby. I trip out hard when I feel this little girl kicking and stretching in my tummy, hiccuping just about after every meal I have. The connection I’ve already made with her is unreal. It’s so powerful. It’s so beautiful. She hasn’t even made her entrance into this world and she already owns me. She’s already made me a better person.

With the percolating joy and happiness of my first child on the way, I can’t deny the anxiety and many fears I have. And it all comes down to protecting this child, ensuring her safety forever. This mama bear is gonna watch her cub like a hawk. Sometimes I feel bad for the kid, knowing how protective I might be. I now understand the ways of my mother.

A mother can only protect her child so much. Some things are out of her complete control. It breaks my heart to know that a situation such as the concert bombing in Manchester would be one of those situations that is out of my control.

What’s truly scary, is that this isn’t the first time a terrorist attack has hit close to my world. Remember the terrorist attack at the Eagles of Death Metal show in Paris? Yeah. This type of targeting is just too close for comfort.

concert crowd photos

While I can’t control the actions of such vile beings, I can continue to protect my baby girl with all that I have, both mentally and physically, and teach her not to live in fear.

I’m not going to stop going to concerts or traveling the world because some pieces of shit are trigger happy and bomb crazy. That’s exactly what they want; for us to live in fear and not enjoy life. I will continue my business and pleasure in music, as will my husband, and we will continue to make the beauty of music a part of our little one’s world. She already gets serenaded while in utero by her mommy and daddy, she’s already been to a lot of concerts, and we can’t wait to put her infant hearing protective earmuffs to use.

Concerts are one of the best life experiences. They hit so many different feels, they can be spiritual, they can be other worldly — ultimately, they always open your mind to something new and good. Our little girl is gonna experience that gift and more.

concert crowd

We can’t and we won’t live in fear. We’re going to continue celebrating life through music and supporting the artists who inspire us. We’ll never forget these tragedies, and we’ll always honor the lives lost, but we’ll keep on truckin’. So turn up whatever you’re listening to, because music IS life.

With that said, my heart goes out to all the families affected by the Manchester bombing; to all the people now afraid to go to a concert, to all my friends, family and readers who LOVE live music. Keep your heads up and your hearts full, and continue to pass on the gift of music. It’s all we can do.

And please, please — while at a show or any event, be alert and aware of your surroundings.

  • Know where all the emergency exits are
  • Have a plan of action if you get separated from someone you arrived with (don’t just rely on a phone)
  • Don’t be afraid to tell security if you see something or someone suspicious. This isn’t the time to act cool. If you see something not right, do something about it. Who cares if you may come off paranoid … it’s better safe than sorry.

Sending so much love and positive energy to those affected by the Manchester bombing. May all the lives taken be resting in peace and watching over their loved ones.

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