The massacre in Las Vegas hits close to home for the organizers of Country Thunder in Craven.
Kim Blevins got a text message Monday morning telling her to turn on the news. That’s when she found out about a gunman in the Mandalay Bay hotel shooting across Las Vegas Boulevard into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
“It’s been a hard couple of days for myself, for all of my staff, anyone involved in this industry,” the general manager of Country Thunder Saskatchewan told the 980 CJME Morning Show on Wednesday.
Blevins said she has great sympathy for the victims, but also a sense of pride in her industry colleagues with the way organizers reacted.
Although Country Thunder has no direct connection to the festival in Las Vegas, she knew several people working there.
“We were getting pictures of the size of the bullets,” she said.
When it comes to security in Saskatchewan, Blevins said Country Thunder takes safety very seriously and is always looking at its emergency plan.
“We’ll sit down and if we can make some changes we will. We’ve already been talking about different possibilities, different scenarios,” she explained.
At this point, Blevins didn’t point out any specific changes that could be made. But she added there was no way to prevent that particular attack in Vegas.
“There’s no way festival organizers could have known there was someone on the 32nd floor or the Mandalay Bay taking aim at their fans.”
She compares it to a catastrophic weather event, which is out of their control, but they do their best to deal with the situation.
Right now, it appears the biggest effect the Vegas shooting has on Country Thunder is an emotional one. Blevins tells fans they want to continue to move forward.
“Music festivals are a place to celebrate and a place of joy and we want to continue to bring that to our fans.”