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.

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

4 thoughts on “The Heysel Stadium Disaster, May 29, 1985.”
  1. Ahhh a Brother FOH

    Things can get sketchy out there if the mob ain’t happy.
    Been there done that, got some tee-shirts

    My show days are done. Love the work, the mob, not so much

    1. “Make it louder!”
      And they start shaking your scaffolding because they are fucking drink and deaf and the security guy assigned to you is backstage getting drunk and high.

  2. Miguel,
    I share and understand your dislike for big crowds. I have been to large events where people got a little too rowdy and people ended up getting hurt. I stopped going to sportsball games, avoided live concerts (the floor section at first, then altogether) and kept my head on a swivel when I went to theme parks with my family. I couldn’t carry there anyways so I just stopped going. One only has to look at the tragic trampling at the AstroWorld concert this past November to see that bad things can happen VERY quickly when a crowd gets worked up.
    This past Christmas I was shopping at a very busy store to get a last minute gift for a relative I was visiting the next day and was almost caught up in a brawl between several over agitated shoppers. It started with shouting, progressed to shoving and ended up with 8-10 shoppers (mostly women) throwing punches and getting arrested.
    This wasn’t a case of stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places at stupid times, (Well maybe stupid people). It was shopping for gifts at the mall.
    Large groups of very excited or angry or fearful people are just not safe to be around.

  3. There’s a surprising difference in culture between US sports fans and those in Europe (and perhaps South America, I don’t know those). In Holland, fans for different teams have to be assigned to different parts of the stadium or destruction will result. The authorities schedule separate trains to carry the visiting team fans to/from town, and plan to do extensive repairs on those rail cars afterwards. No, this isn’t a once in a while thing, it is SOP.

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