Cincy4Chester: Memorial for Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

Posted August 16, 2017 by shooting in Music / 46 Comments

This past Saturday, I was supposed to see Linkin Park live for the first time. Sadly, on July 20 of this year, we as Linkin Park fans lost lead singer, Chester Bennington to suicide. Chester had battled addiction and depression for years. Fans know this, and it’s obvious in Linkin Park’s heartfelt, often emotional lyrics. However, these are lyrics that resonate with fans. They tell us we’re not alone, that there is light in the darkness. Chester might have lost his battle, but Linkin Park fans will continue to listen to his music and fight for happiness in an often depressing world. I’ll be honest – I’m not the best Linkin Park fan. I’ve loved their music for 13-14 years now. I used to belong to their message board, back when I had a desktop computer. I love their music and their lyrics and I’ve always been in awe of Chester’s beautiful voice. But I don’t own every album and I didn’t keep up with them all the time, but that doesn’t matter. Linking Park was – is– special to me, and when I learned about Chester’s death, I was heartbroken.

Quote about Chester in a magazine

However, Linkin Park fans came together in Cincinnati to organize a memorial for Chester this past Saturday at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was the same place and day that Linkin Park had been meant to play. I’m sure many of us there had had tickets for that show, so it was sad to go and not have that experience, but I appreciated being around Linkin Park fans; fans that knew how it felt to lose someone so amazing and so young. No tickets were needed and Riverbend even allowed for free parking. I do have to commend the venue for allowing us all to gather for two hours that night without asking for anything in return. The volunteers who put the event together definitely deserve a huge shout out too. There were also suicide prevention and awareness information on hand, which I thought was a lovely thing to do and important for that evening. There was Linkin Park music, posters to be signed and hopefully delivered to the band, bagpipes played during the official “memorial”, a moment of silence, speeches, and even a big Cincinnati/Linkin Park family hug.

Cincinnati Pays Tribute to Linkin Park's Chester Bennington #cincy4chester #linkinpark Click To Tweet

It was emotional, yet wonderful too. It was a moment I am really glad I was able to be part of, and I’m happy that my sister and one of my best friends was able to join me in remembering Chester.

Quote on the right from Linkin Park song: “But the sound of your voice, puts the pain in reverse.”

Finally, I took something along with me that will always be a memory of Chester and that night with Linkin Park fans. About a night or two before the memorial, I came up with the idea of bringing a book I had about Linkin Park called From the Inside: Linkin Park’s Meteora. This is a biography, a photo album, a quote book, and more. It came out around their second album so it’s quite old but it’s something I’ve had for years. I took the cover off, brought a silver sharpie, and brought the book with me. After arriving, I went around the venue and asked people to sign the book  anywhere – on the cover, in the inside covers, anywhere in the book. It didn’t matter to me. I just wanted this memory. People were so nice about it and happily signed the book – many even wrote a little note to Chester, which I thought was amazing and touching.

Glow sticks were given at the memorial too

People flipped through the book, talked about memories of Chester and Linkin Park, thanked me for asking them to sign it when I was so thankful they were doing so. It was a really great moment. I even had my sister go around and ask people too, and she agreed that it was an emotional experience. This book will be something I will always treasure – thank you to everyone who signed it and made it that much more special to me.

Photo of Chester throughout venue – I thought his reaching out was poignant of how his music reached out to so many.

Thank you to everyone who put together #Cincy4Chester, came to the memorial, and generally made the night a success. I’m sad it wasn’t the live show I had been looking forward too, but I’m so glad we all had a place to go to say goodbye to Chester…surrounded by our fellow Linkin Park family.

Who cares if one more light goes out...Well, I do Click To Tweet

If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

“One More Light” by Linkin Park

46 responses to “Cincy4Chester: Memorial for Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

  1. I feel bad for Chester, but I feel way worse for his family. The children he left behind will be forever marked by his suicide. Very tragic.

  2. RO

    Depression is still one of those topics that goes sadly unrecognized, and my heart goes out to Chester’s family and friends. The music is so good, and I’m glad that we have that to remember him and his talent. It’s thrilling that you had people sign your book. Thanks for the tribute. Hugs…

    • shooting

      Thank you – I’m so glad to have the book as well. Depression is something more people need to talk about – mental illness in general. It affects so many. I’m heartbroken for his friends and family as well. It’s awful to think about.

  3. Bringing the book and having others sign it was such a great way to pay your respects and remember Chester. I am glad you were able to see Lincoln Park in July and that the city allowed the gathering of fans. That is very special. Coming together with others who feel the same way we do really helps in the healing process. Sending hugs!

  4. It is such a sad thing that Chester lost his battle with depression. I’m glad as fans you all still came together to celebrate his life. It sounds like it was an amazing and special celebration.

  5. This really hit me hard too and I’m not actually a Linkin Park fan. But it breaks a part of me each time something like this happens. Especially when it comes to mental health issues.

    I like that you had everyone sign the book. It will be such a cherished possession – knowing that he touched so many people with his music!

    • I can understand how deaths like these hit hard, whether you were a fan of the musician or not. It’s just devastating.

      And thank you! I’m so glad I thought of bringing the book.

  6. Shawn Adkins

    My name is Shawn Adkins,one of the original organizers,what you did having people sign that book was an awesome tribute to a legend!! We can’t thank you enough for making it out,we were so very grateful for every person that walked through that gate. I have no idea what made me think of the “group hug” at the end but it just seemed fitting after watching everyone sing One More Light,I literally wanted to hug each of you so I thought well…..group hug it is lol. Thank you again!!! Take care
    -Shawn

    • shooting

      Hi Shawn – thank you so much for the comment, and thanks again for being part of the whole evening. It was a wonderful night to celebrate Chester’s life and music. The group hug was a great idea; definitely seemed fitting after One More Light.

      -Lauren

  7. I’ve been a fan of Linkin Park for years (they were one of the first bands that I came to really like), so I was shocked when I heard he had committed suicide. It just felt very surreal.

    I love that you had the opportunity to attend something like this…it helps bring a little bit of comfort and closure to a tragic situation. The idea to have everyone sign your book was so lovely – I love how it turned out.

    There’s just something about being with others who know exactly what you’re going through…it helps. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Thanks, Bria! It was a horrible situation to come together for, but it was nice to be around people that were fans and understand the grief. I loved hearing people talk about him and the band while signing the book.

  8. Such a heartbreaking story, but so glad you got to go to an amazing event. I got to see them live a few years ago right before they cancelled a tour due to Chester getting injured. Such an amazing talent and soul taken way too soon <3

  9. I loved their music but I wasn’t a massive fan in the sense that I knew every little fact about them. I just really enjoyed their music. I was really sad to hear about his passing. He had recently been on an episode of Good Mythical Morning on Youtube where he and Mike sang songs to influence the taste of food. Anyway, it was shocking to go from watching him so alive and charismatic to hearing about his passing on the radio. I think the memorial was a great idea for fans to be able to come together. Not only to mourn the loss of a musician that touched the lives of many, but to also help spread the word and give help to those with depression or thinking of suicide. <3

    Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) recently posted: Sneak Peek Wednesday: Chasing Red by Isabelle Ronin [Giveaway]
    • I think the memorial was a great idea, for all the reasons you listed. I hope it helps people dealing with mental health issues to know they aren’t alone and people are more than willing to listen and to help if they can.

      It’s so shocking to see videos of Chester and then to know he’s gone. He seemed so alive, but it goes to show that depression isn’t one-size fits all.

  10. I didn’t realize you were supposed to go see them this past weekend, and I’m so sorry that you attended this as opposed to a celebration of music 🙁 It’s such a shame, and he was such a beautiful soul. If any good can come of this, I hope that it reduces the stigma surrounding mental health and that people really truly start to seek help for depression/suicidal thoughts. Just breaks my heart. Thanks so much for sharing this, sweet friend <3 <3 <3

    • I agree! I hope it allows more people to be open and get help if they need it. There is no shame in it, but so many people are shamed for mental illness and that needs to change.

  11. I think of all the celebrity deaths in the last decade, this is one that hit me pretty hard. I grew up on his music and he was able to put into words some of the pain I have experienced in my life. I love that his fans are coming together for these memorials and how his passing has widened the conversation about depression and suicide. It’s sad that it had to take a death for it to happen but I feel like we are chipping away at that stigma that has surrounded mental health issues for so long.

    • Thanks for your comment, Lecy! This is definitely the celebrity death that hit me the hardest, as I’ve been a fan of theirs for years and their music was so important to me – especially in high school. I do hope this lessens the stigma of mental illness.

  12. He was everything.
    I can pick a song and listen to the vocals and lyrics and — the entire band just had a way with evoking emotions and pounding it out musically. His death shook me.
    I love that you gathered all those signatures like that. Connected with all those people. The stories you must have heard. That’s the power of music – talent. Keep that forever.

    • Chester had such a powerful voice – and his ability to evoke emotion in all his songs. He was everything. I’m going to miss him; it was heartbreaking to hear about his death.

      I am going to cherish the book and the comments and the stories people shared.

  13. Jen

    So many greats this year and last gone. Depression SUCKS. We have got to start talking more and never stop. Thanks for sharing the Memorial with us.

  14. It’s so sad that he’s gone. :[ I was definitely a Linkin Park fan as well. That’s so great that Cincinnati did a tribute for him. I’m glad you got to go to this event!

  15. I was incredibly sad to hear the news and was a fan of Linkin Park in my early twenties, those dark lyrics, so passionate, helped me get through the day really. I’m so sorry that you weren’t able to experience them live Lauren, another life cut short due to depression and addiction. What a remarkable way to remember his memory though, through other fans who loved and cherished his music. It must have been wonderful to start the healing process surrounded by others who were also grieving. It really highlights the need for counselling for young men because as a society, it’s still incredibly difficult for them to open up about their feelings and seek help.

    • shooting

      It was such a wonderful evening – I’m really glad I could take part in that. I completely agree about highlighting counseling and mental health for men because there is much more of a stigma for guys to “suck it up” and not have emotions. I think Chester showed a lot of people it’s okay to be open about your problems and get help when you need it.

  16. I’ve been a fan of Linkin Park for about 15 years so the news of Chester’s passing hit me pretty hard as well. The memorial seemed so wonderful though, and I love your idea of having the book signed. Nice that even though you couldn’t see them live, fans still got together and created these memories.

    • shooting

      It’s still shocking to me that he’s really gone, but the memorial – and getting the book signed – was a great way to be around people who felt the same. Thanks for commenting!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)