As everyone know by now, what was supposed to be fun filled evening for concert-goers at the Indiana State Fair turned to tragedy Saterday evening when stage scaffolding came crashing down on the crowd as they waited to see the country band Sugarland. Five were killed and at least 40 more were injured when high winds caused the structure to come crashing down in a matter of only a few seconds. This tragedy is met with concerns about the safety of concert scaffolding and what could be have been done to prevent such a tragedy. See the Huffington Post story here.
As big fan all genres of music, I am no stranger to a concert and by the looks it, the scaffolding that was being used at the Indiana State Fair closely resembles what I have seen at many of the concerts that I have attended. It has never even crossed my mind that the stage could come crashing down at any concert I have ever been to and I sure that most of the concert-goers attending the show on Saturday evening had also never pondered the thought until it was actually happening.
I wonder exactly what type of wind speeds stage scaffoldings like the one that failed this weekend are rated for, and if the recorded winds exceeded this threshhold. Was there was anything that could have been done differently which would reduced the potential for such a disaster to occur?
In hindsight the show should have been cancelled and the stadium should have been evactuated due to the pending inclement weather. Evacuation plans had apparently been discussed by event coordinators but had not yet been activated at the time of the collapse.
According to reports the crowd was told only minutes before the disaster that the show would continue as scheduled despite warnings about the potential for damaging winds.
I think most of us who attend concerts regularly place our trust in those putting on the concert that proper safety measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the concert’s attendees. In this case that trust was violated and many lives will never be the same as a result.
Our thoughts and prayers go out the victims of this horrible tragedy.