Country star Dierks Bentley told The Hollywood Reporter that he has been heavily shaken by the attack at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
“I’m having a hard time even physically moving right now. I had to take Twitter off my phone because I’ve just been looking at it for two days straight,” he said. “It’s just the heaviest, darkest thing I can remember since 9/11.”
Bentley, who is currently in Nashville working on new material, says that the whole country music world feels this pain very deeply because of a bond that unites performers and the fans.
“Those fans are all family to us. It’s a community like no other, and I’m sure I know some people that were killed or wounded. We see a lot of the same faces on the road. It’s a really tight group,” he said. “The boundaries between the audience and the stage are thin, metaphorically, in country music.”
The massacre at the festival, which welcomed thousands of fans to the Strip to see acts such as Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and Big & Rich on Sunday, is now the largest mass shooting in American history, with 59 deaths and more than 500 injured.
Bentley posted a message on Twitter on Monday, saying: “Prayers for everyone in Las Vegas… Our country music family of fans and friends. God Bless all those hurting right now. At a total loss for words.” For now, he says, he is thankful to be at home with his family and is focusing on ways to support and help friends, family and fans recover.
“Fortunately I’m off the road for a little while. I would have to dig really deep to walk onto a stage right now,” Bentley said. “I have a lot of respect for artists who are out there helping fans heal and playing shows.”