Friday, August 19, 2011

Music festivals, we may have a problem


Another outdoor concert, another thunderstorm, another stage collapse, another five people dead. The deaths at the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium late Thursday come as the death toll in Saturday's stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair rose to six.

The latest bad news comes from

The death toll from a fierce thunderstorm that mangled tents and downed trees and scaffolding at an open-air music festival in Belgium has risen to five, officials said Friday.

Hasselt Mayor Hilde Claes said that two more people died overnight. About 40 were injured, 11 of them seriously, she said.

Chicago-based band Smith Westerns was on stage when the structure collapsed around them, NBC station WMAQ reported. None of the band members were injured but their equipment was destroyed.

Organizers canceled the annual Pukkelpop festival near Hasselt, 50 miles east of Brussels. Buses and trains were pressed into service to transfer the 60,000 festivalgoers home.

The brief but violent thunderstorm on Thursday evening tore down concert tents, several trees and main stage scaffolding. Panicked concertgoers ran through fields of mud looking for shelter.
DO YOU think there might be a pattern here?

Do you think that the typical design of the typical outdoor stage might be inherently unstable and prone to collapse during weather not atypical for spring and summer -- outdoor-concert season?

Let's review. And note that I've probably missed some incidents from the past couple of years.

August 13, 2011. Indianapolis, Ind.

August 7, 2011. Tulsa, Okla.

July 17, 2011. Ottawa, Ontario.

July 6, 2010. Concho, Okla.

Aug. 1, 2009. Camrose, Alberta.

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