What Happened to You?

Do you have a concert experience (good or bad) that you want to share? If so, here's your chance! Whether you want to describe a particular incident, or just give your opinion on how things could be better, this page is for you!

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Who, The
{ Riverfront Coliseum }

Wednesday, September 10, 2003 12:22:31 PM
Where: Cincinnati, OH
When: 12/03/79
Stage: indoors

24 years later and I still look at my ticket stub every morning and thank God I am alive. I was an Ohio State student who drove to the show with my friends. We got there early. The crowd was milling around several of the entrances. I remember trying to guess which doors were going to open. As we waited the crowd grew. I remember thinking that I hoped we picked the right spot, as it was festival seating, and we didn't want to get stuck waiting on the wrong side of the Coliseum, especially since we had gotten there early. The crush of the crowd was slow in developing. The outer ring where we were waiting was quite small, maybe ten yards wide. It was elevated too, so there was no opportunity to escape over the side. About five minutes before the doors opened, the crowding was getting very uncomfortable. A few people actually pushed their way back away from the doors. Some people were screaming to move back, but the line was simply too long to make a difference. I started to get nervous and wondered when the police where going to act, why they didn't open the doors. People were starting to panic, and I remember a couple of people being passed back overhead. I decided that my group should move against the wall of the Coliseum, thinking that at least we'll have one side that won't be pushing on us and would reduce our chances of being knocked down. I wonder what might have happened if we had not done that. I still felt confident that this was just a minor problem. That the doors would soon open. I remembered when I was a child of seven and had been swept by a crowd surging into a concert, the fear and loss of control. I didn't want that to happen to one of my friends, a girl (CiCi if you ever read this, you're welcome and I had a huge crush on you)who probably weighed 100 pounds. I sandwiched her between myself and another friend, placing my arms on his shoulders to try and give her some room to breathe. The crowd then surged about ten feet forward and then back. The guy in front was separated from us. The screaming began in earnest and the crowd pushed forward again, but not back. I guessed that the doors were finally opened. As we were forced toward the door, it was clear that we were going to be pushed past it. I literally threw my friend into the opening and dove in behind her. We were grateful to be out of the crush, suprised to see the door glass had been broken out, and completely ignorant of the tragedy that surely happened around us. We found our other friends inside. The Who did not play an encore that night, which surprised us. We didn't know about the deaths until we were back in the car and heard the news on the radio about "the tragedy at The Who concert." I remember being confused about what they were talking about, Even after living through the crush, I could not imagine that trampling deaths could occur in the U.S. What can I tell that would be helpful? Little. The only thing I could have done differently is gotten out of line very early in the process, which I had no reason to think was necessary. Don't trust authority to protect you. Cherish your days. Rock on. Don't DUI.

bruce friedman

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