It was the final game for the European Cup of soccer that year. It matched Liverpool of England versus Juventus of Italy. It was also the peak time of the Hooligan Era, the infamous British soccer fans known to express both their pleasure and displeasure for the game by using all the violence they could muster. And that they did on that day ending with the death of 39 people.
I was in Venezuela then, barely a couple of weeks after finishing my studies in the US and still living in the “That won’t happen to me” frame of mind. It took two mass gatherings I attended, one as spectator where somebody got shot by the cops in front of me and another working as assistant sound engineer where the crowd became very rowdy and almost destructive while we were in the middle of it, to finally make me realize that big crowds were not the safest animal walking the Earth and that it should be avoided at all costs.
Since then and with a very few exceptions, I refuse to attend any kind of gatherings with more than 50 people. Exceptions are the perhaps’ twice a year religious attendance and only if I am within feet of an exit. The other exception was and still is any organized shooting match as I have never found any other group of people that would not engage in mass stupid behavior like shooters. Mostly because we all pretty much share the same frame of mind.