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More than 80 concertgoers injured by hailstorm at a Louis Tomlinson show at Red Rocks

A concertgoer in a red jacket sits at the edge of an amphitheater packed with other attendees
Seven people among the injured concertgoers were hospitalized for injuries from the hailstorm at Red Rocks.
(Helen H. Richardson / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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Nearly 100 concertgoers were injured by a hailstorm Wednesday evening before a show by former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson at Red Rocks amphitheater in Colorado.

As people waited for the concert to start at the outdoor amphitheater just outside Denver, venue officials warned of oncoming “severe weather” and urged people to seek shelter in their cars, giving an “all clear,” then issuing another warning. Around 9:25 p.m. the show was postponed to a future date. By then, hail the size of golf balls and apples had pounded concertgoers.

Seven people were transported to nearby hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, according to West Metro Fire Rescue paramedics who responded to the amphitheater by around 9 p.m. to treat traumatic injuries. About 80 to 90 others received treatment at the venue.

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Some concertgoers suffered cuts and broken bones, authorities said. One person shared on social media that they tried to seek shelter under a tree during the storm and were left with welts, posting photos of red marks along their arms, hands and legs.

“Tonight was the scariest night of my life,” @nikkitbfh wrote on Twitter. She had also fled the amphitheater, finding shelter under a sign. She posted video of concertgoers in rain ponchos screaming and running for shelter with hands to their heads as ball-shaped hail pelted their bodies.

“I am bleeding and have huge bumps on my head from the hail,” she said. “Hoping everyone made it out safely.”

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After the sign she hid under broke, a man allowed her to shelter inside his car, she told the Denver Gazette. “Literally saved our lives, if not a serious concussion,” she said.

Another concertgoer told the Gazette that their windshield is “literally shattered” by hail that “was literally apple-sized.”

Late Wednesday evening, Tomlinson tweeted that he was “devastated” about the show, hoped that everyone was OK and promised to return.

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“Even though we didn’t play the show I felt all of your passion!” the former One Direction member wrote. “Sending you all love!”

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Red Rocks officials fielded concerns from concertgoers who reported online that staff allegedly blocked people from sheltering at parts of the venue, such as concessions stands, and reportedly laughed at them and filmed them while urging people to continue to exit. Many gave credit to Tomlinson’s tour team for offering assistance during and after the storm.

The venue had previously told people to shelter in their cars, but concertgoers noted that vehicles were located far from the amphitheater and some instead took ride-share services.

Authorities reported some people were stranded at the venue because their vehicles had sustained damage from the hail, according to the local Colorado TV news station KDVR.

“We’re also aware of concerns regarding staff,” Red Rocks officials wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning. “This is not what we want to see from a situation like last night, and we are currently gathering more information.”

The venue said they hoped Tomlinson would come back to the Colorado venue soon and prompted people to seek possible refunds directly from tour promoter Live Nation.

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Red Rocks had canceled its opening act for the concert season, Canadian DJ Dabin, after a wind-whipped wildfire forced evacuations in the area in late March. An April snowstorm forced officials to move a show by dubstep producer Peekaboo indoors to another venue.

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