Cheap Trick sue over stage collapse
Cheap Trick have sued organisers of the Ottawa Bluesfest over the 2011 stage collapse that forced them to abandon their performance.
Robin Zander and co were forced to make a dash from the platform after freak weather conditions began to topple it. Five people were injured, including roadie Sandy Sanderson, who suffered a pierced abdomen and broken pelvis.
The frontman said soon after the drama: “I went to take the band out in the middle of a song because I saw it coming. We all ran off the stage and it hit so fast I didn’t even get half-way down the stairs before it collapsed, and we just crawled out the side.”
Manager Dave Frey added: “The air was still and it was humid – then out of nowhere this huge wind just hit. It blew everything back. Cymbals were flying and everything. Then I heard the rivets in the truss starting to pop, and it just started coming down.
“The roof fell but it hit our truck and that kept it about five feet off the deck. That gave us room to run – and we were running as fast as we could.”
Now the band want $1m in damages, saying event bosses are to blame, saying they put “economic considerations over safety.”
They allege Bluesfest responded to the incident in an “unsuitable, haphazard and inadequate manner;” staff were not appropriately prepared to deal with an emergency; and weather conditions were not monitored correctly.
A report from safety executives found that, while the stage had been designed to withstand gusts of 75mph, wind-walls had not been removed, amounting to a “heightened risk and increased vulnerability.”
Cheap Trick’s demands include $400,000 for ruined gear and $600,000 for “special damages including interim replacement equipment, labour, travel and services.”
The summer of 2011 saw a number of high-profile stage collapses, including one at the Indiana State Fair in which seven people died, and at Pukkelpop in Belgium where four lost their lives.
Tags: Cheap Trick