MGM has settled with 2,500 victims of the sniper attack at the 2017 country music festival, but efforts to resurrect the festival have stalled.
The Route 91 Harvest festival is reportedly on the verge of returning to Las Vegas, albeit at a different site than where 58 people were murdered during a mass shooting on October 1st, 2017.
The future of the festival, which wasn’t held in 2018, has been very much in limbo, as hundreds of the shooting’s survivors filed lawsuits, alleging negligence by Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and its owner MGM Resorts International and Live Nation, the organizer of the festival. However, on Wednesday, Julie Matway, Chief Operating Officer of Country Nation, which is led by Live Nation’s country-festival division, said during a music-industry conference that plans are underway to bring back the three-day festival.
“Route 91 Harvest here in Las Vegas is one of my kids,” Matway said during a panel discussion during the XLive live-events conference in Vegas, according to trade publication Amplify. “I am looking forward to how and when we are going to bring that back. We are working hard on that. Hopefully we will get it online for 2019.”
The response prompted applause from the crowd at Mandalay Bay, the same hotel where a gunman fired at the crowd of 22,000 from his 32nd floor hotel suite.
Since the shooting, the Las Vegas Village, the site of the massacre on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, has remained fenced off and empty. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Thursday that the new Route 91 festival would take place in the fall at the Las Vegas Resorts Festival Grounds, a 35-acre plot on the north end of the Strip.
The festival began in 2014 and grew every year, attracting top acts such as Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Eric Church. The shooting took place on the final day of the 2017 festival while Jason Aldean performed.
MGM has been tight-lipped about everything tied to Route 91.
In a prepared statement, Debra DeShong, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Communications and Industry Affairs for MGM Resorts International, told Rolling Stone in April, “Security remains a top priority at all MGM Resorts properties, facilities and entertainment venues, and our security team works tirelessly to protect the safety of our guests and employees. We are constantly evaluating and refining our security procedures and work continuously with law enforcement and security experts to ensure major events – and every guest experience – remain safe and enjoyable for everyone.”