Less than a week after the devastating stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair due to strong winds, yet another outdoor event stage collapsed today and this time it was in Belgium. At least three people attending the concert were killed and several others were injured. The stage collapsed at the open air Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium during a performance by the Chicago band.
Witnesses reported that a heavy storm hit just as the band began playing. A spokesman for the Chicago band stated they “assumed it was a storm passing through when the stage started shaking.” With this particular stage collapse, damaging winds were reported across the festival grounds with several other tents collapsing and injuries reported across the festival grounds. The Chicago Tribune reported that “Video from the site showed stage equipment dangling in high winds as rain-soaked concertgoers at the music festival ran for cover. Trees and branches all around the area were downed, evidence of the sudden ferocity of the winds. Images of the disaster showed fallen lighting scaffolds. Dutch NOS television reporter Rick Hoogkamp, who was attending the concert Thursday, said several tents collapsed. An AP reporter saw concession stands blown down and a large food tent spread across the ground.”
With two stage collapses in less than week and two others reported earlier this year, one in Oklahoma and one in Ottawa, the trends seem quite clear.
1. Outdoor event planners are not properly planning for inclement and when severe weather does strike, a call to action and evacuation/sheltering process is not initiated in a timely manner.
2. Outdoor temporary stages are not built structurally sound and a lack or regulation/building codes for outdoor temporary stages promotes problems.
For my complete blog entry on the events that transpired this past weekend at the Indiana State Fair, please visit https://swatchasers.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/anything-but-a-fluke/
Thanks for reading and let’s hope for less tragic weather stories during the upcoming weeks!