Country Music Festivals and the Deaths They Leave in Their Wake

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Some country music festivals have been linked to a number of deaths in recent years. Here’s a look at some of the most notable cases and what can be done to prevent future tragedies.


In the past decade, country music festivals have become increasingly popular, with some attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees. But as these events have grown in size, so too has the number of deaths and serious injuries associated with them.

Between 2010 and 2018, there were at least 17 deaths and hundreds of injuries at country music festivals in the United States. In most cases, the victims were young people who were trampled or suffocated in large crowds. Other fatalities were caused by falls from bleachers or balconies, lightning strikes, and drowning.

Despite the risks, people continue to flock to these festivals because they offer a sense of community and connection that is hard to find elsewhere. For many fans, the experience is worth the risk.

The Good Times

Country music festivals have become increasingly popular over the past few years, as fans flock to see their favorite artists perform in an outdoor setting. However, these events have also been linked to a number of deaths, as attendees often engage in risky behaviors such as excessive drinking.

In 2013, for example, two people died from drug overdoses at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. And in 2014, a teenager was killed after being hit by a car at the Stagecoach festival in Indio, California.

Despite these tragic incidents, country music festivals continue to be popular, with an estimated 1.5 million people attending them each year. And while organizers are working to make these events safer, it’s important for attendees to be aware of the risks before they go.

The Dark Side

From the Outsider Music Festival in Arkansas to Country Thunder in Wisconsin, country music fans flock to outdoor festivals every summer. But these gatherings can have a dark side: In the past decade, dozens of people have died at country music festivals, mostly from drug overdoses or heat-related issues.

In 2018 alone, four people died at the Leaner four-day country music festival in Canada, three people perished at the California desert festival Stagecoach, and one woman died after attending Country Thunder in Arizona.

Last year’s edition of the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas was marred by the death of a dozen attendees, most of them young people who had taken drugs or alcohol. And in 2017, two young women died of suspected drug overdoses at the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

These deaths are a tragic reminder of the dangers associated with outdoor festivals, especially ones that involve drugs and alcohol. While most attendees have a good time and make it home safely, others succumb to the temptations and dangers that come with large crowds and outdoor heat.

If you’re planning on attending a country music festival this summer, be sure to stay hydrated, take breaks from dancing in the heat, and watch out for your friends if they’re indulging too much. With a little preparation and caution, you can enjoy these festivals without becoming another statistic.

The Aftermath

In the wake of a country music festival, there are often numerous deaths reported. These festivals are large, raucous events that attract huge crowds. And, as with any large gathering of people, there is always the potential for danger.

In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile country music festivals that have ended in tragedy. The most recent example is the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. In October 2017, a gunman opened fire on the crowd from a hotel room overlooking the festival, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. This mass shooting is the deadliest in modern US history.

Other notable incidents include a stampede at an outdoor concert in Indiana in 2011 that left seven people dead, and a stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in 2012 that killed five people and injured dozens more.

Country music festivals are not the only large outdoor events that have seen tragedy strike. In July 2016, 86 people were killed at the annual running of the bulls event in Pamplona, Spain. And, of course, there have been numerous terrorist attacks at large public gatherings around the world in recent years.

While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of death at a country music festival or any other large outdoor event, there are steps that can be taken to lessen the likelihood of such tragedies occurring. For example, better security measures and improved crowd control could help to prevent stampedes and stampede-related deaths. And increased security checks could help to deter would-be terrorists from carrying out attacks.

Ultimately, though, it is important to remember that death is always a possibility at any large public gathering – whether it be a country music festival or something else entirely.


In conclusion, country music festivals are becoming increasingly popular, but they also come with a deadly price tag. At least one person has died at every major country music festival in the United States over the past decade, and many more have been injured. While these festivals can be great fun, it’s important to be aware of the risks before you attend one.

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