Jason Aldean Marks Anniversary of Route 91 Shooting With Heartfelt Message

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMA)

On Saturday (October 1st), country music hitmaker Jason Aldean took to his Instagram to mark the fifth anniversary of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting with a heartfelt message.

In the touching social media post, Jason Aldean shared a picture of him and his wife Brittany along with who he describes as his Route 91 family. “My Route 91 Family! 5 years later and it’s still a rough day. Thinking about all you guys today.” 

The mass shooting occurred between 10:05 p.m. and 10:15 p.m on October 1st during the third and final night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival. When the first shots rang out from the Mandalay Bay Resort, Jason Aldean was performing on the event’s stage as the final act. 

It was revealed that the perpetrator, later identified as Stephen Paddock, had 24 firearms in his hotel room on the 32nd story of the resort. An estimated 61 people were killed in the shooting. More than 600 were injured by gunfire and shrapnel. Over 22,000 concertgoers were in attendance on the final day of the festival. 

Following the tragic shooting, Jason Aldean spoke out on Instagram. “Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still [don’t] know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”

Jason Aldean Spoke About the Route 91 Harvest Festival During the 2022 ACM Awards 

Earlier this year, Jason Aldean reportedly spoke about the Route 91 Harvest Festival at the 2022 AMC Awards in Las Vegas. He shared how he now sees the city.

“It’s not quite the way I wanted to be attached to [Las Vegas] by any means,” Jason Aldean explained. “But I do feel a special connection to the city, more so since Route 91. I enjoy coming back here, man. I always have a great time being here. With the exception of that one time, it’s always been great.”

Jason Aldean further spoke about how he thinks about what happened. “But I feel like for me personally, I’m kind of at peace with everything. I just try to move on and make the best of a bad situation. That’s all I can do, I feel like.”

The country music superstar also spoke about his experience in 2019 with Billboard. “I was confused,” Jason Aldean said about his initial reaction to the shooting. “I didn’t know what was going on. My wife was eight months pregnant. That was scary. I didn’t know where she was. You’re scared, you’re nervous. It was just really chaotic. One of the words I summed it up with was chaos.”