It’s hard to believe that it has already been five years since the devastating attack on Route 91 Harvest Festival took the lives of 58 country music fans, and left hundreds more wounded.
I can remember waking up the morning after and feeling completely broken, sick inside, and still trying to process everything that had happened the night before.
I got on the subway here in Chicago to head to my office and everything felt completely silent. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like waking up in Las Vegas that morning.
A few days later, Eric Church, who headlined the festival on Friday, took the stage at the Grand Ole Opry and delivered the most powerful country music performance I have ever seen.
One that still chokes me up every single time I watch it…
In honor of the late Sonny Melton, who was supposed to be at the Opry on October 4th, but unfortunately passed away in Las Vegas, Church debuted the absolutely gut-wrenching “Why Not Me,” a tear-soaked tribute to the victims of this senseless act of violence.
One that we still don’t, and probably never will, have answers for…
“What I saw, that moment in time that was frozen, there is no amount of bullets that can take that away…”
Jason Aldean Relives Route 91 Harvest Mass Shooting In New Documentary, ’11 MINUTES’
This will be tough to watch.
Paramount+ is set to stream a new documentary, 11 MINUTES, which will take viewers inside the heart-stopping stories of terror and survival experienced by those who were at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas.
The new four-part documentary will feature the first in-depth interview with Jason Aldean, who was on stage when the first burst of automatic gun fire shattered the night.
When it was over, 58 people were dead and more than 800 were injured.
Jason recalls the horrifying moment when the shooting started, as he initially thought the popping noise meant something was malfunctioning with the sound equipment:
“When I turned around, my bass player was just looking at me like a deer in the headlights.
And my security guy was on stage at that point, telling me to get down, waving me off the stage.”
He continued, saying he still struggles with survivor’s guilt:
“It’s hard not to feel a little guilty. I mean, those people were there to support us.”
It will be absolutely chilling to watch, to say the very least.
The four-part series will also feature interviews with law enforcement, as well as several survivors of the shooting.
Josh Haynes, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police detective, adds that he believes the heroic stories of people who experienced the tragic moment should be told:
“People stood up at that moment and they did what needed to be done at that time to take care of those on their left and right.
Those stories should be told.”
Ashley Hoff, who is an executive producer of 11 MINUTES and a Route 91 survivor, says she witnessed some truly incredible moments, even in the darkness and sadness of such a tragic event:
“As I ran out of that field, I believe I witnessed some of humanity’s greatest moments…
I’ve gotten to hear from many fellow survivors, some of the strongest, bravest, most resilient people I’ve ever met.”
The film was directed by Jeff Zimbalist, and executive produced by Stu Schreiberg, Jeff Zimbalist and Ashley Hoff. Co-executive producer is Jess Philipps. Supervising producer is Sarah Longden, co-producer is Alana Saad.
11 MINUTES debuted Tuesday, September 27th on Paramount+, marking the week of the event’s fifth anniversary, today, on October 1st.
Though it will certainly be a difficult thing to see with, so much heartbreaking footage featured throughout, it’s important to remember all the people who both tragically lost their lives, as well as those who played a pivotal role in saving many lives, too.
You can check out the trailer here: