Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Tell me this is not Spinal Tap-worthy.
July 17, 2011 5:51 PM   Subscribe

"A giant gust of wind picked up a tarp and garbage from across the field and flung it toward the audience and lifted the whole stage — where Cheap Trick had been playing — and almost like a convertible in a car, just folded it backwards in the same direction." The main stage at the Ottawa Bluesfest has collapsed in a sudden storm, during a performance by Cheap Trick. Injuries are reported to be minor. The annual festival brings thousands of music fans into downtown Ottawa. Photos of the aftermath.
posted by ricochet biscuit (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Dude, they totally brought down the house.
posted by Xoebe at 5:55 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


awww. Why couldn't the stage have collapsed when they opened for Pearl Jam back in '98? Taking a few massive bong tokes and then lying on the grass while they played was the closest I've ever had to a bad weed trip.
posted by mannequito at 5:57 PM on July 17, 2011


Ironically, the only show I planned to see at Bluesfest was the act coming on after Cheap Trick. Clearly that's not happening. It's confusing. Lots of conflicting injury reports. I hope the one about someone having life threatening injuries is wrong.
posted by aclevername at 5:57 PM on July 17, 2011


EVERYBODY GET (checks gender in profile) HIM! LAME JOKE ALERT!
posted by wheelieman at 5:57 PM on July 17, 2011


I believe that is encouraged around here.
posted by maryr at 5:59 PM on July 17, 2011


Ain't that a shame.
posted by hal9k at 6:02 PM on July 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Injuries are reported to be minor.

Injuries are reported to be serious. Not sure humor is the way to go here.
posted by evilcolonel at 6:07 PM on July 17, 2011


Doooooooooooooowned.
posted by dhammond at 6:12 PM on July 17, 2011


Oops, missed the part about serious injuries. Sorry for the lame joke :(
posted by dhammond at 6:13 PM on July 17, 2011


Previously in collapsing Canadian music festival stage news, the stage at the Big Valley Jamboree collapsed two years ago under a seemingly similar windstorm, killing one.

I'm not sure if this is indicative of:
1). two unlucky freak incidents
2). increasingly larger music festival stages with less-than-stable temporary rigging
3). increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:14 PM on July 17, 2011


There's some pretty shocking photos posted on Cheap Trick's FB page of the aftermath. I'm genuinely surprised no one was killed. (I'm reminded of the outdoor stage accident that paralyzed Curtis Mayfield in 1990, which eventually led to his death.)
posted by scody at 6:16 PM on July 17, 2011


Cheap Trick plays blues now?
posted by Jode at 6:29 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want you to want me to not be crushed in a freak wind gust -
posted by newdaddy at 6:30 PM on July 17, 2011


Don't be cruel.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:31 PM on July 17, 2011


I was in a bar not too far.. a waitress repeatedly used "apocalypse" to describe the weather. My aparment is still without electricity.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:41 PM on July 17, 2011


Injuries are reported to be serious.

I was not trying for gallows humour, merely going off the reports from the CBC and the largest daily paper in Ottawa at the time of posting, both conveying official statements of the festival:

Bluesfest official Joe Reilly said there were no serious injures but one person suffered a broken leg, according to a report from The Ottawa Citizen.

and

Although there were initial reports of injuries, including one broken leg, the official Bluesfest statement released via Twitter just after 8 p.m. said, “There are no serious injuries on site.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:42 PM on July 17, 2011


Video of the performance right before the collapse (doesn't show the accident). Looks like a massive stage.
posted by jeffmik at 6:50 PM on July 17, 2011


The collapse.
posted by mazola at 6:54 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank goodness Bun E's alright, Tommy's alright, Robin's alright, Rick's alright.
posted by bwg at 7:16 PM on July 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


That actually looks like a pretty expensive trick there.
posted by koeselitz at 7:19 PM on July 17, 2011


Argh, sorry. Not minor injuries. Hope everyone comes out of this okay.
posted by koeselitz at 7:20 PM on July 17, 2011


Bun E's alright, Tommy's alright, Robin's alright, Rick's alright.

They just seem a little weird.
posted by SPUTNIK at 7:22 PM on July 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


This falls on organizers to make the unpopular decision to cancel shows (midway if needed) when there are windstorms. Temporary rigging and structures aren't designed to stand up to these forces.

Events like this will push regulations to be stricter, but that is really just a mandating of throwing money at the problem, unless you build as though a structure will be there permanently it will have a threshold somewhere between what rarely happens and what is never expected to happen. That is where responsible judgment is supposed to come in.
posted by meinvt at 7:33 PM on July 17, 2011


This storm reportedly came up very suddenly. The band had just left the stage when it came down.
posted by evilcolonel at 7:34 PM on July 17, 2011


Mommy's alright, Daddy's alright.
posted by timsteil at 8:11 PM on July 17, 2011


Cheap Trick always sounds great in concert and seems to be good for you health.

Watching shadows move across the wall
It feels so frightening
I wanna run to you, I wanna call
But I've been hit by lightening
posted by clavdivs at 8:37 PM on July 17, 2011


This falls on organizers

If only.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:44 PM on July 17, 2011


I'm sorry, but I'm still trying to understand the first part of this:
you say that Cheap Trick was playing at the Ottawa Bluesfest?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:52 PM on July 17, 2011


Apparently Joe Satriani was playing too. If the stage had come down around Satriani, it would have just seemed to be part of the show.
posted by Flashman at 9:04 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Minor injuries seems to be the consensus now... EMS had told a radio station there was one critical and one serious. Thankfully this may not have been correct.
posted by evilcolonel at 9:43 PM on July 17, 2011


Hopefully the Dream Police kept bystanders away from the accident.

The big Bluesfests in Australia always have general rock and alt-country acts playing. Dave Matthews, Elvis Costello, Drive-By Truckers...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:45 PM on July 17, 2011


The Dirty Three playing in the middle of a lightning storm
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:47 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


you say that Cheap Trick was playing at the Ottawa Bluesfest?

Ottawa Bluesfest isn't just for the blues. Rush played the Bluesfest last summer.
posted by angiep at 10:36 PM on July 17, 2011


Genesis jamming with a thunderstorm ... back when they were good. It gets evident a little past the three minute point.

Says keyboardist Tony Banks, "We switched off all the lights and just made noises. And the first time it really was frightening." During the recording, a thunderstorm suddenly began outside. Inspired by the thunder and the pouring rain, the band switched gears and performed the melodic, uptempo section that concludes the piece.
posted by philip-random at 10:57 PM on July 17, 2011


Ottawa Bluesfest isn't just for the blues. Rush played the Bluesfest last summer.

And the night before Cheap Trick's show, Jane's Addiction played the main stage. As well, the collapse of the stage meant the cancellation of the final performer, Death Cab for Cutie.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:24 AM on July 18, 2011


Bluesfest is one of the only world class concert festivals that Ottawa gets. Big name artists, very little blues music. Each artist tends to do at least one blues cover in their set.

Best comment I've heard about the storm.

"MBNA should capitalize on this.
At MBNA, our stages aren't the only things dropping. Come see us today to talk about your new low rates."

But in all seriousness, I hope everyone is ok who was at the concert.

For anyone who doesn't know MBNA in Canada, you should check out the Smart Cash card. The best no fee cash card on the market at the moment.
posted by MechEng at 7:12 AM on July 18, 2011


View from my window during the wind storm
posted by HLD at 7:14 AM on July 18, 2011


We live right by this location. Last night we were having our anniversary dinner (hurray!) when I noticed the dark clouds rolling in. I got the cats inside the house just as the ominous clouds descended.

Shortly after the gusts started and I we were riveted to the window, seeing how the massive trees swayed a bit too much for comfort. Ottawa had a bad wind storm already this year, resulting in a major tree snapping in our neighbour's yard. Our nieghbour is a slum lord who doesn't take care of his trees, and we fear some others may be rotting...

I actually said "I wonder what kind of forces the Bluesfest stages can withstand..." and then a few minuts later, sirens, sirens and more sirens. We are near a major intersection, and there must have been 70 emergency vehicles going by in a span of twenty minutes.
We were riveted to twitter updates on first #ottcity and then continually checking #ottawabluesfest and #bluesfest for potential injury reports.

Thank goodness that no one was killed! Two big factors that played in to it: Most sets on the various stages ended at 7pm, so other stages were not densely packed. And the main stage fell backwards. I can only imagine the potential injuries if it had been otherwise.

There were a number of power outages in Ottawa, and a number of trees downed. Our neighbour behind us had a massive branch fall off their tree and in to a neighbour's yard. A neighbour down the street had been at Bluesfest with his kiddo, left when the stage collapse happened, and came home to a tree blocking their garage entrance. He had to spend part of the evening chainsawing his way inside.

Not 3 minutes after the major stage-downing gusts died down, the damn cat was at the door crying to go back outside. No, kitty!
posted by Theta States at 7:36 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


you say that Cheap Trick was playing at the Ottawa Bluesfest?

Ottawa Bluesfest isn't just for the blues

It was definitely more blues/R&B -oriented up until the early 2000s, but then it just went kinda "anything goes" in 2005 or so when Kid Rock and the Black Eyed Peas were there for some reason.
posted by Hoopo at 9:19 AM on July 18, 2011


As well, the collapse of the stage meant the cancellation of the final performer, Death Cab for Cutie.

Every cloud, silver lining, &c.
posted by elizardbits at 11:14 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, Chali 2na got cancelled because of it as well...
posted by Theta States at 11:34 AM on July 18, 2011


Though Frey and the members of Cheap Trick emerged from the collapse more or less unscathed, their truck driver sustained an injury to his abdomen and a cracked femur, and they lost all of their equipment. "Everything is gone. The gear is crushed and it's soaked, and it's part of an investigation with the police department, the fire department and the Ministry of Labor here," Frey says. "We're trying to get gear set up for our show tomorrow in Buffalo. Do you know where we can rent a five-neck guitar?"
posted by scody at 12:06 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thankfully with a much smaller tent: This storm was kicking up out of nowhere and raindrops started appearing on my screen and gear, not 30 seconds later I noticed the snare and hihats dropping out and turning round I see our drummer holding up the fucking canvas with his sticks while the tent is collapsing around us in slow motion. Two guys scrambling for the big rope that had snapped while we kept playing. It was cathartic. Twee in comparison to the massive disaster posted here no doubt... I really feel for the musicians ... Here's my favourite recording VS thunderstorm btw.
posted by yoHighness at 3:08 PM on July 18, 2011


« Older Dawn spacecraft now orbits asteroid Vesta...   |   A computer scientist teaching ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments