NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach


Country music stars honor Stoneman Douglas victims in West Palm Beach

Posted at 8:16 AM, Mar 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-04 08:16:42-05

The Coral Sky Amphitheater was filled with country music fans for the Rib Round Up on Saturday.

The event combined country music and barbecue.

Event organizers told WPTV after the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School they decided to tweak the event to honor the lives lost.

"We're really just trying to be country music strong here at WIRK today," radio host Chelsea Taylor said. 

It's called the Rib Round up and it's known for barbecue and a large crowd, but this year's event took on a different tone.

Country music star Jake Owen, who hails from Vero Beach, said this was a big performance for him.

"To be here tonight and see the support from a local crowd it really means a lot to me," he said.

Owen was performing in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival when a gunman fired into the crowd. 

"Unfortunately, I was in Las Vegas when all that went down on October 1st," he recalled. "I never thought I'd be able to say I understand how some of these people's feelings are right now."

He's talking about the Stoneman Douglas shooting where 17 people lost their lives. 

He along with other performers honored the victims of that shooting, Saturday night. 

"As someone that has dealt with something like that I'm happy to be here and show my support because that's what you need at times like this," Owen said.

He's hoping a night of music might bring some relief to a tragedy that has captured the nation. 

"You look around here and you see the happiness that music brings people that's what matters and it's not just country music, all music brings happiness to people and I'm glad that I can be a little small part of that," he said.

Many of the artists signed a cowboy hat to deliver to the school.

Fans at the concert also signed a banner that will be delivered to Stoneman Douglas as well.