Last night as I started reading the news online, a story hit the BBC website regarding a developing situation happening in Paris. First reports sited a shooting at a restaurant. These reports were soon expanded to include bombs going off near a sports stadium and another incident unfolding at the Bataclan concert venue. I quickly went over to the site of France 24 which is a 24 hour news station which also broadcasts in English.
It had been a mild November evening in Paris and thousands of people were out enjoying a meal, watching the France vs Germany football match and listening to live music. The evening was then shattered by the eruption of gunfire and exploding bombs.
As the events unfolded, it soon seemed apparent that the site of the greatest carnage was at the Bataclan where some 1,500 people were attending a concert by the American band Eagles of Death Metal. Reports were soon focusing on the fact that it appeared that there were around 100 people trapped inside with gunmen shooting the members of the crowd.
In the end, the military stormed into the venue and it was later reported that two gunmen had blown themselves up.
A shocking story like this really hits home when I think about how many times I have been to concerts in the past. About the most aggravating incidents that were likely to occur would be a drunk getting ejected for causing a disturbance.
While I have never personally had the pleasure to visit France, I am familiar with the names of some its more famous music venues. The Bataclan Theatre would probably be the first one to spring to mind. It has been around since 1865 as, at various times, a concert hall and movie cinema. It would certainly be a place that one would feel both happy and safe to be.
I have known people that have both attended concerts there and performed there, as well. So, the news of such a horrific violent episode comes as a special shock.
At this time, I would like to offer thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris. Especially those whose love of music has brought them to a place where they would eventually lose their life in a senseless and cowardly attack.
Edit: I have discovered this amateur video footage of people trying to escape the madness at the Bataclan concert. In the clip you can clearly hear the sound of gunshots ringing out from inside the venue. Some people are seen trying to flee to safety out of windows on the second and third floors.