“Economic considerations” trumped safety in 2011 stage disaster.
By Fred Mills
Reports the Guardian in Britain: “Cheap Trick have filed a $1 million (£600,000) lawsuit against the Canadian festival at which the stage collapsed as the band were playing in 2011. The musicians accused the Ottawa Bluesfest of putting ‘economic considerations over … safety’ in their maintenance of the site’s main stage, which collapsed during a storm.”
The gig took place July 17, 2011, and Cheap Trick were about halfway through their performance. Winds from the storm reached 73 mph and the stage structure eventually buckled and collapsed resulting in a number of injuries, though no fatalities; one of Cheap Trick’s roadies was among the injured and he has filed his own lawsuit claiming “gross negligence” on the part of the festival organizers. Apparently the Bluesfest was lax in its preparations when it became aware the huge storm was incoming, failing to alert staff on how to proceed in case of an emergency and not inspecting the stage as to how sturdy it would be under hazardous conditions.
Cheap Trick is suing Bluesfest and its technical team as well as the companies who constructed the stage and sound/lighting columns. The group wants $400k for its damaged equipment and $600k for “special damages.”