Watch Big & Rich Lead Route 91 Harvest Festival in ‘God Bless America’
A few hours before the Sunday night (Oct. 1) shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, Big & Rich were onstage to perform for the thousands of festivalgoers gathered for the event. The duo has shared footage of a special moment during their set: leading fans in a "God Bless America" sing-a-long.
Readers can press play above to watch the special moment, shot from onstage with Big & Rich. As Big Kenny and John Rich play and lead the sing-a-long, fans hold up their phones to light up the crowd; near the end, the duo stops singing to let the audience take the lead.
More than 50 people were killed and more than 500 people were injured when a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, during Jason Aldean's set. Big & Rich were still in Las Vegas when the shooting took place, but they were not on the festival grounds; instead, they were down the Las Vegas Strip, at a location of Rich's Redneck Riviera bar, to play an after-party.
Country Stars Respond Following Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting
When those in the bar heard the news about the shooting, Rich says, an off-duty police officer from Minneapolis guarded the bar door as everyone else barricaded themselves inside, hoping for safety. The off-duty police officer used Rich’s side arm to protect the bar’s entrance; the bar’s guests all stayed in lockdown, fearing at any second, “someone could come blasting through the door.”
Big & Rich were staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino — the same place from which the shooter attacked. Their rooms were close to his, according to Big Kenny. In interviews, the singer is adamant that he won’t let fear lead following the mass shooting.
“We will continue to march forward with our music. I know that all the artists out there, we are all so concerned right now, first and foremost about our fans, but [we] will not let this stop us in any way,” he notes. “We will go forth every day and shine the light of love as bright as we possibly can against all the darkness and outrageous things like this that might ever come upon our path in life. And we will continue to walk in God’s light the best we can.”
Remembering the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting Victims