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March 8, 2023

Tragedy of Epic Proportions at GloRilla Rochester Concert

concert crowd in front of bright blue stage lights

A fun night out at a concert turned into absolute chaos during Grammy-nominated rap artist GloRilla’s concert in Rochester, New York. Rochester Police continue to investigate the exact causes, but initial reports detail the level of tragedy. In mere moments, two people would be left dead, a third in critical condition, and scores more with visible and invisible wounds they’ll live with forever. Rochester Mayor Malik Evans called the event a “tragedy of epic proportions” during a news conference.

Previous cases like the Travis Scott concert stampede produced a slew of lawsuits filed against both the rapper and the venue. We reached out to top Farah attorneys to see what the law says about incidents like these and who would ultimately be responsible—the venue? The artists themselves? Contracted Security? Or what if a concertgoer themselves started the massive panic that would leave multiple families shattered?

Because we stand for the victim during the darkest of times, we share critical current events like these. We’ll take an in-depth look at what happened in Rochester and what to do if you are ever hurt at a live event.

What Happened at the Rap Concert in Rochester?

On a Sunday evening in early March, a stampede ensued after a performance of Memphis-based rap artist Gloria Hallelujah Woods, aka GloRilla. The crowded Main Street Armory arena in Rochester, New York turned chaotic when scattered reports of possible gunfire caused a surge of people exiting the venue to rush towards the exits at once.

That surge would leave two dead, another in critical condition, and scores more injured. While the Rochester Police have said they do have reports of possible gunfire, they have not found evidence of that as of the penning of this article. “We are hearing many reports of potential causes, including crowd size, shots fired, pepper spray, and more,” Rochester PD said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Who Is Responsible for Your Safety at a Concert?

Safety is usually something that event organizers are keen to emphasize. Most every live event will have outside security, security checks, aid stations, emergency personnel, lighting, access, and more all to provide assurances for everyone’s safety during the event. Cities generally issue permits for organizers to put on the show, with safety requirements that are up to code, such as a certain number of exits.

Large, live events such as a concert or music festivals can be quite enjoyable event. Typically, they are quite safe. However, the larger the crowd, the tougher it is for event staff to manage. This provides ample opportunity for dangerous events like the stampede during the Rochester rap concert.

Aside from stampedes, there are many additional ways you might find yourself injured at a concert or live event including:

  • Crowd violence
  • Safety measures to keep crowd under control lacking or not in place
  • Not having enough security staff for the number of people attending
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Mistakes made during the stage set-up, bleachers, tents, etc.
  • Lack of intervention or action from performers themselves, i.e. not stopping the concert.

Investigators for the GloRilla concert tragedy will likely focus on the exact causes that led to the tragedy. Investigators are charged with determining what happened and to “bring accountability to those who are culpable,” says Rochester PD.

Two pressing questions that still demand answers are: “Why did the rap concert crowd stampede?” and “Why were people not able to escape through proper exits?

Is This the First Stampede Accident at a Rap Concert?

Pulling off a successful rap concert for a Grammy-nominated rapper like GloRilla is a complex undertaking. There are so many moving parts and different parties involved. The artist, food, and beverage vendors, outside security, volunteers, and more are all working together to provide a good experience for guests.

Negligence, unfortunately, occurs when someone is found to not do enough to prevent an injury or death. In 2019 and again in 2021 multiple concertgoers died or were seriously injured during stampede events at Astroworld in Houston. With the risks apparent, all parties responsible for keeping concertgoers safe are held to a higher standard in the eyes of the law.

According to Khalil Farah, personal injury attorney for Farah and Farah Jacksonville, an angle the investigators may look at is to see if the rapper may have encouraged the crowd behavior. In many concerts, fans are hyped up by the artist and may start pushing and shoving. If that happened during the GloRilla concert, the artist may have created a “zone of risk” for attendees, Khalil says. “Because the artist may have created the environment for the event to occur, they may hold some degree of responsibility in the eyes of the law. The law says that those putting on a concert have a duty to be reasonable and keep people safe.”

What Is It Like to Be in a Human Stampede?

When thousands of people surge in a single direction, a “trampling-type event” can occur, says Dr. Justin Fairless, an ER doctor in Fort Worth. Trampling events can happen in large and small events, and unfortunately, are fairly common around the world. In 2015, a human stampede during a religious festival left upwards of 700 people trampled to death.

A human stampede produces a variety of injuries for anyone unlucky enough to find themselves in one. While you might expect trampling injuries to be most common, lack of oxygen is often the leading cause of death and serious injury. A surging crowd pushing against your chest makes it very hard to breathe and can cause compressive asphyxia, reports the National Institutes of Health.

Hurt at a Concert or Music Festival? Find Resources to Recover

The tragedy at the Rochester rap concert highlights the critical responsibility of the event organizers to ensure a safe environment. Farah and Farah attorneys hold first hand experience in getting victims through whatever accident they’ve faced and out the other side whole again.

If you were injured at a golf tournament, fair, concert, or other event, you have resources available to help you recover. You can reach out to our team any time of the day or night, and a friendly, knowledgeable Farah and Farah representative will be available to learn what happened and outline what options may be available.


At Farah and Farah, we wholly acknowledge that we are not a news desk or a media outlet. We cover tragedies like the Rochester concert deaths from a legal perspective in order to educate the general public on options that may be available to them if they should ever find themselves in a similar situation. Bear in mind, as we seek to publish these updates in a timely manner, certain facts surrounding an evolving situation can change as new information becomes available.

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