Having first-hand experience of concert tragedy, Fred Durst intends to aid the families of the victims of last week's Rhode Island club fire.
The Limp Bizkit frontman posted a note on his band's Web site Saturday, expressing horror and sadness at the disaster that took the lives of 97 people attending a Great White concert in West Warwick (see "Guitarist Ty Longley Among 97 Dead At Great White Fire"), while proposing to help those grieving over the loss of loved ones.
"I want to create some sort of benefit for the families of the ones who were lost," he wrote. "It feels right to get involved because I am a musician, I love music and I love going to concerts. That could have been any of us! Fortunately, it wasn't and we can come together to help not only [create] awareness to prevent anything like this again, but to help the people who are sincerely hurting from the loss."
The post includes the number of Durst's office at his Flawless record label and asks fans to call with ideas on how they can help.
Durst was hit especially hard by the news of this concert tragedy, given that his band was onstage when a crowd surge led to the death of a 15-year-old fan at the Sydney stop of Australia's Big Day Out festival in 2001. Although Limp Bizkit were exonerated from contributing to the frenzy (see "Organizers Blamed in Limp Bizkit Mosh-Pit Death"), Durst has stressed the importance of safety on numerous occasions.
"We once played in our hometown of Jacksonville, [Florida], in a club, with pyrotechnics, and pieces of the ceiling were falling off because of it," he recalled Friday at the MusiCares tribute dinner in honor of U2's Bono (see "Norah Jones, No Doubt To Salute Bono At Tribute Dinner"). "It was really scary, and it lets you know how important it is that a fire marshal comes in and checks everything out, the tour manager is in compliance with the club, and [that] they take their time to make sure everything is safe for everybody. ... Safety is so important. It's such a shame that people went innocently to get into some music and have a good night and were killed."
Specifics on Durst's plan for a benefit or charity of some type have yet to be worked out, though he is among the first in what is likely to be a long list of those in the music community to vow to help those affected by the awful tragedy.
"It is so important to make any concert a safe place for fans to be," he also wrote on Limp Bizkit's Web site. "I believe that it is our responsibility to provide you with the safest, most secure conditions when you come to our concerts, and I pray that every club, owner, tour promoter, venue security and band will learn from this horrible accident."
— Joe D'Angelo, with additional reporting by John Norris