LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe has shared some of what he called "practical information" regarding concert safety following the tragic crowd surge at a Travis Scott performance in Houston earlier in the month.
The rapper's November 5 set at his Astroworld event left nine people dead and several more fighting for their lives. Since then, dozens of lawsuits have been filed and a slew of questions remain unanswered about what went wrong.
Blythe, who spent five weeks in a Czech prison nearly a decade ago after he was arrested and charged with manslaughter for allegedly pushing a 19-year-old fan offstage at a show, addressed the Astroworld tragedy while preparing to perform Saturday (November 13) at the Welcome To Rockville festival in Daytona Beach, Florida in front of an anticipated 40,000 fans.
In a post to his Instagram, Randy wrote: "Tonight my band @lambofgod will play in front of thousands of people at the @welcometorockville festival in Florida. In light of the deaths at the Astroworld Fest in Houston, I'm posting some practical info. I will not retroactively armchair quarterback the whole Astroworld thing- suffice it to say, A LOT of shit went wrong in many ways. However, I BELIEVE THE BUCK ULTIMATELY STOPS WITH THE PERSON HOLDING THE MIC- anyone who knows my story knows that I have very sad, personal experience with not stopping an out of control show- it's something I will carry with me to my grave. Being a spokesperson for safer shows is both my responsibility as a good man & the fulfillment of a face-to-face promise I made to the family of a dead fan. SO TO THAT END:
"#1) From personal experience, I can say that from the performer's perspective onstage at a huge festival, it can be VERY DIFFICULT to tell if something has gone wrong in the audience- the noise of the music, the roar of the crowd, the lights in your face, the thousands of people moving all at once- it makes it very hard to ascertain if there is a problem or if people are just having a good time.
"If someone is hurt, screaming 'STOP THE SHOW!' at the band onstage doesn't really work, because unless the entire audience is chanting that, it's just gonna blend into all the noise.
"Waving your hands frantically in the air doesn't really help either— it just looks like more movement in a sea of movement.
"What DOES help the audience let a performer know that something has gone wrong in the crowd?
"A SIGNAL. Here are 2 signals I've personally seen from the stage that have let me know that someone was injured in the crowd. We then COMPLETELY STOPPED the show until that person could be removed:
"A) arms held in an 'x' above your head (picture 1). This is a fairly universal signal that means STOP.
"B) the 'time-out' signal (picture 2- fingertips of one hand speared into the palm of the other)
"When I've seen several people doing these signals in a crowd together, it looks DIFFERENT than everyone else, & I've known something was wrong.
"#2) if someone falls, pick them up. That is how WE do it in OUR COMMUNITY.
Blythe spent 37 days in a Prague prison before ultimately being found not guilty in 2013. His prison experience inspired two songs on LAMB OF GOD's 2015 album "VII: Sturm Und Drang": "512", one of his three prison cell numbers, and "Still Echoes", written while he was in Pankrac Prison, a dilapidated facility built in the 1880s that had been used for executions by the Nazis during World War II. It also led him to write his 2015 memoir, "Dark Days: A Memoir", in which he shared his whole side of the story publicly for the first time.