In elementary school, our library had a series of books that I blame for a lot of my irrational fears. It was called the Encyclopedia of Danger. Each book took a bunch of things that fell into a certain category, rated them on how dangerous they were (how likely they were to injure you! how likely they were to kill you! the probability of being injured or killed by said thing!), and provided a few pages of narrative on each dangerous thing.
I don’t recall how they made a series out of this, because the only book in the series I remember clearly – the one I checked out more than once – was about the most dangerous pastimes in the world. I suspect this volume included fireworks shows. I know that it included roller coasters, though I somehow enjoy those regardless.
I also know it included concerts. This book is where I learned that you could get trampled and die at a crowded show. Passages from this book flashed through my mind during my first LCD Soundsystem experience last fall, where I spent the majority of my time boxing out and trying not to get crushed.
I do not think the concert passage mentioned the danger of stage collapse, which is happening left and right nowadays and is completely terrifying. The video of the collapse at the Indiana State Fair actually makes me want to puke. Watch at your own risk:
I have seen very few things more horrifying in my life. And that was the third collapse of 2011, and now it happened again at the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium.
What on earth is going on here? Why so many incidents in one year? I’m tempted to blame global warming for creating more intense weather or something along those lines, but I’m no meteorologist. I’m no Al Gore.
I am someone who very much enjoys live music, indoors and out, and I am planning to celebrate my 25th birthday with two consecutive concert days. But, you won’t catch me too close to the stage anyway – I don’t want to get trampled. Thanks, Encyclopedia of Danger, for instilling in me a potentially life-saving paranoia.