Everyone knows that Lady Gaga can cause a scene, and this morning’s “Today” show performance was no exception, with the pop singer drawing 20,000 fans to Rockefeller Plaza. The tightly-packed crowd and sweltering temperatures were too much for at least two fans to take, and both were rushed to the Bellevue Hospital Center for heat exhaustion.
The wisdom of having an outdoor concert in a week where New York saw temperatures over 100 degrees is questionable at best. The wisdom of having an outdoor concert which could reasonably be expected to draw thousands is barely worth speculating.
At least a few “Today” show viewers have complained about the show’s willingness to put so many people in harm’s way. Other criticisms were levied at the New York Police, who, according to some, failed to adequately control the crowd, allowing it to sprawl across several streets and become dangerously large.
No personal injury claims have been made and it does not seem as if any will, for now. However, it might behoove “Today” show producers to consider the implications of staging such events in a way that might allow for the injury of New York citizens and tourists.
If last Thanksgiving’s stampede at a New York Wal-Mart taught any lesson, it was to beware of the crowd, to respect the fact that things can go wrong quickly and take steps to protect those present. When you throw high temperatures into the mix, things can go wrong quickly.