How Safe is the Delta Fair?

Shootings at the Delta Fair raise concern

On Saturday, Sept. 1, 2019, shots were fired at the Delta Fair, causing those in attendance to panic. The shooting at the Delta Fair this year caused many people to question the general safety of large public events, and even the safety of other forms of public entertainment, such as going to see a movie or going to a concert. 

Sarah Liebmann, a St. George’s senior, was at the Delta Fair during the day of the shooting. The shooting had a major effect on her and made her think about the safety of public events.

“…in the middle of the movie I thought, ‘Huh, what if someone just took out a gun and started shooting.’ and I’ve never had that thought cross my mind just living my life on the daily, and then I started crying in the middle of the theatre.” said Liebmann. 

This is not the first time this type of incident has happened in Memphis. In May of 2016, there was a stampede at the Beale Street Music Festival after people allegedly heard gunshots. This lead to two people getting arrested and multiple others having minor injuries.

“Not even in the slightest, actually,” Caleb Lindow, a St. George’s Senior, said when asked if he thought events like Beale Street Music Festival or the Delta Fair were safe. 

Violence and murder in Memphis has been on the rise in recent years. In 2016, the number of homicides in Memphis was the highest since 1993. In April of 2019, however, there had already been 43 homicides compared to the 29 in April 2016. Given these numbers, most felt that a shooting at the Delta Fair was almost predictable, and had views on how organizers could make these events safer.

“Be more thorough when searching people when they arrive,” Mrs. Metz said, a teacher at St. George’s, when asked about what the fair could have learned from past events similar to this years shooting at the fair.

Despite the heightened concern for public safety, the Delta Fair did not seem too concerned with gun violence or public danger.

“I don’t remember there being any, like, proper security,” Liebmann said. “There probably was I just didn’t see it. It was just like police guards in training.”  

After the shooting, the Delta Fair did raise the security levels quite a bit, but it left some questioning why extra security was not added before the shots were fired.

“It’s good now that there’s like that amp in security but there’s no excuse for that shouldn’t have been there before.”