By now, many have probably heard of the unexpected chaos concertgoers experienced during the 2019 Roots Picnic in Philadelphia.
The day started out perfectly and everyone in attendance was having the time of their lives until they experienced the scare of their lives just after 6 pm.
A stampede of people started running out of the venue after a false gun scare and seeing as though I was actually there, it was an experience I will never forget.
The Roots Picnic is a Philadelphia tradition
Since 2008, The Roots Picnic has been held in Philadelphia and brings together some of the most popular R&B and soul artists to date.
This was my first year going and I was excited to see artists that I’ve been jamming to in the car for the past few weeks!
I arrived at Fairmount Park just a little after 12:30 pm and already, there was a line of people waiting in line to get a good spot on the lawn.
Everyone was prepared to lay out their blankets, have a cold drink in hand, and just relax while listening to some of their favorite musicians perform their popular hits.
My family member and I were sitting close to the Fairmount Stage, which was the stage some of the most well-known musicians performed on.
We weren’t extremely close, but we were close enough to see the thousands of people crowded around the stage swaying to the music.
This was the eleventh year The Roots Picnic has been held in Philadelphia and the event has never experienced problems until this year.
The stampede of people caused many injuries
At 6 pm, rapper 21 Savage appeared on the main stage and started to perform some of his biggest hits.
Everyone was living in the moment and no one expected to experience complete and utter chaos in the next few minutes.
My family and I were just sitting on our blanket listening to 21 Savage when all of a sudden a swarm of people started running away from the stage in our direction.
I had just closed my eyes to take a nap when I feel my boyfriend tugging on my arm trying to get me on my feet.
The minute I opened my eyes, all I saw was a cloud of dust and people running at full speed toward the exits.
My main concern was getting all of my belonging in hand because no one really knew what was going on.
According to concertgoers near the main stage, a fight had broken out and panic sparked after some claimed an audience member had a gun.
People were leaving behind shoes, plastic bottles were being thrown, and even a few young children had gotten separated from their families.
According to reports, four people experienced minor injuries while one person suffered a broken leg.
Many concertgoers didn’t even come back after they made their way out of Fairmount Park.
My family and I didn’t know what was going on and stayed inside the park soon learning that the whole situation was a false alarm.
Everything soon went back to normal
After a few minutes, everyone started to calm down and people’s main mission at that time was to find out what exactly happened.
Eventually, a Roots Picnic official came on stage and asked concertgoers to guide children who had gotten separated from their families to the ATMs.
Though they didn’t officially announce what caused the scare, people started making their way back into the park to continue enjoying the picnic.
There were some people who never came back but those of us who stayed had the time of our lives the rest of the night.
We were still a little scared not knowing what exactly took place, but everything seemed to be under control.
At 7:15pm, soulful songstress H.E.R. took the stage and she was able to lift everyone’s spirits.
The night ended with The Roots closing out the event as they performed all of the songs off of their Things Fall Apart album to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Though there was a moment in the day that had us all scared for our lives, The Roots Picnic still did not disappoint.
It exceeded all of my expectations and there is a strong possibility I’ll be attending next year!
Hopefully won’t have to experience another stampede.