by Anna Masciandaro & Jessica Shih
When teens and families head off to concerts, they are usually not thinking about protecting themselves from life-threatening situations. But after what happened late Monday night at a concert in Manchester, England, everything will change.
A suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena killed 22 people and injured more than 50. The arena was packed with fans, most of whom were families and teens.
Although this isn’t the first time that terrorism has occurred at a concert, it’s the people who were directly affected by it that distinguishes it from past occurrences. This attack appeared to directly target us—teens and their families.
With music festival season approaching—kicked off by next weekend’s Governors Ball on Randall’s Island—it’s important to ask: Do teens still feel safe going to concerts and festivals? And do their parents feel comfortable sending them there?
Sophomore Nick Romeo has tickets to next weekend’s festival, and has discussed it with his parents. “I was talking to them [Monday] night and they were asking me if I still wanted to go,” he said. “I still want to go.”
Of course, this isn’t to say that the incident should be taken lightly. But while parents and teens have every right to be worried about safety, this occurrence shouldn’t frighten people into avoiding a concert or festival.
It’s expected that security will be heightened for major venues and upcoming music festivals. With such measures in place, the odds of a bomber gaining access to your next concert are lower than you getting into a car accident on your way to school.
Plus, if we stop ourselves from going to these events, then we will be giving the terrorists what they want: fear and submission. Adolescence is a time for learning independence, and by playing into the terrorists’ hands, we’re exchanging our freedom for restriction.
Though teens were directly targeted, the bombing shouldn’t stop them from experiencing the world around them. Concerts and music festivals are an essential part of today’s teen culture, and by withholding ourselves from them, we’re depriving ourselves from doing something we love.
So we mourn with Manchester, and we’re haunted by this ruthless act of terrorism. But we still have our tickets paid for, and we’re not letting them go.