Bobby Bones, the Nashville-based host of the largest syndicated country morning radio show, spent his hours on air talking about the tragedy, providing news updates. He read text messages out loud from artists and backstage crew members who had seen the shooting. “I don’t even know how to handle this right now,” said Bones, who played the festival Saturday evening with his band, the Raging Idiots. “I’m struggling to process this.”
Bones talked with singer Jake Owen, who performed before Aldean and was backstage when he thought he heard pyrotechnics and then realized it was the sound of bullets.
“We as artists, it’s our obligation. We put on a show so people can have fun and forget about some of the day-to-day life things,” Owen said, as he described seeing kids sitting on their parents’ shoulders during the concert. He said that, going forward, the artists and fans will “not be scared of these cowards that do this . . . we will prevail, that’s what we do as Americans.”
Bones talked about the tightknit Nashville country music community and how the tragedy hit so close to home, especially thinking about all the people in the Las Vegas audience. “I think for all of us in this room, and I think for all of us in Nashville and the country community, we’re all sitting here going, one, this is really terrible that it happened because our fans are the biggest, the No. 1 priority to us,” he said. “So we worry about our fans first.”
Throughout Monday morning, dozens of country stars mourned the tragedy, including many who had performed at the festival:
Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate
This is a photo from just a short few hours ago. I wanted to post a photo of what this festival was supposed to be about and not give this horrible person the recognition he so desperately wanted. I am incredibly saddened by tonight's events and while I'm thankful that me and all of my band and crew are alive and unharmed, I can't help but hurt for all the people who weren't as fortunate and the pain their loved ones must feel. Keep Vegas, these fans, and all of the country music community in your thoughts and prayers, we could sure use it tonight. Thank you.
Those who weren’t in Vegas also weighed in from Nashville and around the world: