November 29, 2022

What Went Down at the ‘Lovers and Friends’ Festival

Emma Clouser

After two years of delay, due to the pandemic, Lovers & Friends finally took place in Las Vegas from May 14th-15th. Although it wasn’t executed perfectly, many lovers of old school hip-hop and R&B seem to enjoy the event and thrive off of the throw-backs performed. Featuring headliners like Lauryn Hill, Usher, Ludacris, etc. When the line-up first was released, it seemed too good to be true. However, with artists constantly being added and then dropped, and no matter how many new dates were announced, the event seemed to be in an ongoing state of postponement. 

When the announcement of a secure timeline was released, it came with no surprise that people had their skepticisms. In conclusion, their hesitations were proven true on the Saturday of the festival. With it being over 100 degrees in Las Vegas, halfway through the day, the venue ran out of gatorade and then ran out of water a few hours later. Even with the supply from the free water stations, the water was just as hot as the weather outside. Many festival goers frantically searching for water have stated that there was no security or staff in sight besides those few who worked at the bars and charged people for bottled water at a time of crisis. Followed by the water chaos later that night at around 10:30 p.m. was a false alarm of what sounded like gunshots that sent a stampede of people running and being trampled on.

Festival organizers paused the show for a short time while broadcasting on the screens updates to let the attendees know they were investigating the situation. With police searching the Las Vegas grounds, there was no evidence of a shooting and the initial report has been deemed unknown for what may have caused the loud noise. They opened the emergency gates, allowing anyone out who wished to leave, then sent out an apology and continued the festival on Sunday as planned.

With the announcement of one person having died and others who experienced injuries like a broken back, many are taking up lawsuits against the unorganized and unsafe festival. Many are even saying that they will never be able to return to a concert due to all the trauma and neglect they have felt post festival. Attendees reported being felt like guinea pigs in an experiment that promoters would analyze and improve on for the following day. An event that big with well-known promoters should’ve taken more accountability for the events that took place in addition to greater precautions. 

4 thoughts on “What Went Down at the ‘Lovers and Friends’ Festival

  1. This is a very intense article! I actually heard about this and was very sad for the people and families who attended or dealt with any trauma. I think that music festivals these days are getting more and more dangerous as we speak. With what our world has been through recently, I think that most people can agree that our world is plummeting with trust and outbreaks. I hope that festivals start to have less and less outbreaks so people can start enjoying what they truly paid for. Well done!

  2. This article really brings up many emotions for me. I think that with a concert of this size it is so important that every safety measure is taken to ensure an accident like this never happens again. Sadly it becoming a theme for concert to a bigger gatherings like this to be unsafe. It is so scary that a thought in everyones mind, went to gun violence. The reality is that performers don’t seem to care about the safety of their fans, but about how much money they will make at the end of the day. A similar thing happened at a travis Scott concert, fans died. This is scary and more people need to step up to take accountability for this issue, to ensure it does not happen again

  3. Hi Emma,
    I heard about this festival and saw so many videos about it on TikTok! It’s crazy how unprepared they were when they postponed it for so long. This should have given them enough time to figure out logistics and what they needed to do in certain situations. Overall I loved your post, it was super interesting!

  4. Hi Emma, I actually had no idea all of this had happened at the festival! I had only heard about the water shortage, but not the large stampede of people. That situation reminded me of Astroworld, which had a similar terrible ending. It’s unacceptable for festivals to be treating their attendees so poorly and they must be more regulated.

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