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Stage Collapse Tragedy in Toronto

It was over the weekend in Toronto when a stage hand was killed another seriously injured when high winds toppled scaffolding onto the stage before the rock group Radiohead was set to perform. It happened about an hour before the gates were set to open, so no ticketholders were near the stage at the time. The show was cancelled.

It follows that tragedy last year in Indiana when hurricane force winds brought down a stage at the Indiana State Fair just before Sugarland was set to begin their show. Seven people in all were killed in that accident.

A few days later, rain, thunderstorms, hail and high winds knocked down part of the stage at a music festival in Belgium. Three were killed and 71 injured.

There have been others. In July of last year one man was seriously hurt when a stage in Ottawa collapsed in high winds just after Cheap Trick began their show during Ottawa’s Bluesfest.

And back in 2009, one person was killed and four critically hurt when hurricane-like winds knocked down a stage in Edmonton, Canada during the Big Valley Jamboree while Billy Currington was performing. Currington and his bass guitarist were treated for minor injuries. Among the other performers that weekend were Tim McGraw, Gary Allen, Kevin Costner and Josh Turner. None of them were affected.

Three workers were injured during construction of a stage in Mexico for an Elton John concert in 2010. One of the workers suffered a broken leg.

It just goes to show why the weather situation at our Taste of Country show was treated so seriously. We have a contract with a company that is known for erecting very sturdy and safe stage structures, but you just never know what could happen in extreme weather conditions. Everyone involved decided to err on the side of caution with the safety of our fans, entertainers and stage workers in mind. Luckily we were able to reschedule Eric Church at a later date.

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