Two people died at a shooting near the Beyond Wonderland festival on Saturday night – but why did it take organisers until Sunday morning to cancel the rest of the event?

News of mass shootings from the United States never seem to be far away from our screens these days. Ears To The House doesn’t claim any kind of expertise in this area – indeed, you can be assured you are not going to find any detailed discussions on the Second Amendment on this site.

The latest happened on Saturday night at campgrounds near Washington’s Gorge Amphitheatre whilst the Beyond Wonderland music festival was taking place nearby. Saturday’s lineup had the likes of Dillon Francis, Timmy Trumpet, and Martin Ikin playing – whilst Sunday was due to see sets from Afrojack, Hannah Wants, and Chicago’s Gene Farris.

What happened was quite shocking. The alleged shooter – who remains in custody at the time of publication – had been shooting at random into the crowd whilst trying to flee police. Two people are confirmed to have died, whilst another two and the gunman himself were injured.

Somewhat striking, however, was the reaction of Beyond Wonderland themselves. Whilst this madness was going on just hundreds of yards away, their Twitter account dismissed what was happening as “an incident” and simply told people to stay away from the area.

And even after the devastating news was announced, they still referred to the event as “the incident” – and could only just about bring themselves at the end of their statement to show sympathy for the victims.

Sunday’s events were cancelled, but the question now remains of why Beyond Wonderland remained open throughout Saturday night. Our sources in the festival world indicate they believe they were acting on police advice – and as one put it to us, “if you told everyone there was a shooter nearby, you could have been dealing with a stampede.”.

A perfectly reasonable point – but nonetheless, questions are already being asked on social media about whether there was anything that could have been done to prevent this. Was there sufficient security on site, for example? Or was this maniac apparently hell-bent on maiming people and be damned with the consequences?

No doubt these are questions being explored very carefully by the police investigating this tragedy. We expect we’ll be coming back to this one – in the meantime, Ears To The House sends its sympathies to the victims and condolences to the families of those whom needlessly perished over the weekend.

Ears To The House Team

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