ACM Awards Opening Will Address Las Vegas Shooting

In a few days, the country music community will embark on Las Vegas for the 53rd ACM Awards. This marks the first major country event in the city since the tragic Route 91 Harvest Festival last October. The challenge for the award show is how they address the situation, and in a recent interview with Billboard, executive producer R.A. (RAC) Clark shares some insight into how that will be handled.

“This is the elephant in the room,” says Clark. “We are going to address it right at the top of the show. Rather than say exactly what we’re going to do, I would prefer to keep it a mystery until we do. But I feel like we found the appropriate voices to put to it. Then we have to get into our show — not leave it behind, but focus on what’s ahead of us.”

One member of the country music community that who is not expected to attend is the awards show is Garth Brooks. While he might not be there, he does see this as an opportunity for the show to make a statement.

“Sometimes in an awards show, there are moments that can happen that are bigger than the whole show itself,” he says. “I’m hoping there’s going to be some magic, because it’s laying there to be had, and it couldn’t happen to better people in a more tragic situation, how they all reacted and how they acted together.”

ACM CEO Pete Fisher also said, “To go back to Vegas this year just absolutely seems purposeful, It’s going to be emotional, and for those who were on those festival grounds on Oct. 1, I think emotionally, they will find themselves kind of pushing through some very difficult things.”

The moment is sure to be one that is felt all across the country, and one that can bring us all together in unity.

The 53rd ACM Awards hosted by Reba McEntire will be broadcast live from Las Vegas Sunday on CBS.