Route 91: Turn It On, Turn It Up and Sing Along

Route 91: Turn It On, Turn It Up and Sing Along

Yesterday I sat on a bench in the middle of Covent Garden, the sun streaming onto the pavement and lighting up the ornamental flower boxes, people walking by like any other day. I took a deep breath and pressed play on ‘Dear Hate‘.
And I cried.
I cried my eyes out.
I cried for all the victims of the senseless terrorism in Las Vegas, the people who never get to go home to their families and loved ones again.

“Dear Hate
I saw you on the news today
Like a shock that takes my breath away
You fall like rain, cover us in drops of pain
I’m afraid that we just might drown”
Maren Morris – ‘Dear Hate’.

This time last year I was at Route 91 Harvest Festival and it was one of the best festivals I have ever attended. Music blasting from the main stage, whiskey in hand, dancing with some awesome people whilst the sun set on the Vegas strip is one of my favourite memories and one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. This year a few of my friends were due to go to that festival but for various reasons, fate stepped in and they didn’t go. Other people weren’t so lucky and it makes me sad and numb that this could happen whilst people were happy and listening to live music. Music is supposed to be healing, it’s supposed to speak to you, to make you get up and dance or just listen quietly, to feel something, to connect. Since the news broke when we all woke up Monday morning in London, I can’t stop crying every time I think about it. I absolutely love country music, these are my people, my family and I can’t believe this has happened. Facebook memories keep bringing up last year’s photos to remind me just how amazing a time I had last year and I can’t believe everyone who went this year won’t have these memories to look back on.

Stage at route 91 harvest festival

Granger Smith at route 91 harvest festival

Route 91 Harvest Festival was the first time I left the UK specifically to see live music. Since then I have also travelled to Stockholm to see Brad Paisley on his Weekend Warrior tour. Seeing your favourite artist(s) in another country is amazing. Hell, seeing your favourite artists at home is amazing and you shouldn’t have to be constantly wondering if you are going to live to see the end of the concert.

I’ve been struggling this week. I feel absolutely heartbroken and have found myself wondering what’s the point, looking at things and and feeling like in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? Well, no, I guess is the answer. But it’s hard. Thinking this way gets you nowhere. Life is for experiencing because you never know what could happen in the future. I refuse to be scared to go to gigs and experience live music – one of my favourite things. I refuse to be scared of exploring this wonderful world around us, seeing the beauty that’s there if you look. Instead I will hug the ones I love a little tighter, tell people how much they mean to me and try to spread love, not hate. So keeping doing the things you love, dancing round your kitchen to your favourite song, visiting that new city, suppporting live music, smiling at strangers and spreading love because god knows, the world needs it right now.


“Dear Love
Just when I think you’ve given up
You were there in the garden when I ran from your voice
I hear you every morning through the chaos and the noise
You still whisper down through history and echo through these halls
And tell me love’s gonna conquer all
Maren Morris – ‘Dear Hate’.


Route 91 Harvest Festival ribbon




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Route 91: Turn It On, Turn It Up and Sing Along Thoughts on recent Vegas events.


  1. Janet Edwards
    October 7, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    Jessica and I were there in 2015 and we share all the feelings and emotions that you have expressed here. As you said, if fate had not stepped in, we would probably have been there. Thank you for expressing this so well xx

    • Nicole
      October 7, 2017 / 4:28 pm

      I remember when you went in 2015 (and the deep fried cheesecake!), you all had so much fun, that’s why I went last year. I’m so glad you all didn’t go this year though <3 It's all just so heartbreaking. x

  2. Cherene Saradar
    October 7, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    Beautiful sentiments. Always hard to find the love in times like this but it’s there!

    • Nicole
      October 8, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      Thank you. yeah it’s really hard not to focus on the bad and instead focus on the helpers and heroes.

  3. October 7, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    thank you for sharing your story about being there last year… i hope your positive memories will outweigh the terrible ones that were just made :(… so glad that you attended last year and not this year

    • Nicole
      October 8, 2017 / 2:59 pm

      Me too, fate is weird sometimes. I still have wonderful memories but they are a little tainted and I’m sad that those this year won’t have the same memories 🙁

  4. Christina
    October 8, 2017 / 11:27 am

    I’ve been visiting Las Vegas ever since I was young (because flights were always so cheap from Vancouver). Seeing this news really hit home for me because I consider Vegas like a second home. It was the first place I ever travelled to and it was just so heartbreaking to see all the lives lost 🙁 So tragic. I’ll never understand how people can do things like this.

    • Nicole
      October 8, 2017 / 3:49 pm

      Oh wow, I can imagine how close it feels for you. It’s so heartbreaking, I don’t think I’ll ever understand it either – how can people feel this much hate in their heart in order to carry out such a horrible tragedy 🙁

  5. Steph
    October 9, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    “Instead I will hug the ones I love a little tighter, tell people how much they mean to me and try to spread love, not hate” – love this! I think that is a great outlook to have. Sending hugs your way!

    • Nicole
      October 10, 2017 / 10:21 am

      Thanks Steph <3

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