Cheap Trick Seeks Collapse Answers

Cheap Trick has raised some questions regarding the July 17 stage collapse at the that left the band and its crew running for their lives.

“What are the companies and organizers doing to protect the next act and the next audience?” band manager Dave Frey said in a statement. “Every act and every fan ought to be asking the same question when attending an outside musical event.”

The band is seeking an explanation of exactly what trigged the collapse, “especially when nearby tents and other temporary structures stood untouched.”

“Was it a design flaw? Was it an implementation mistake? These are important questions that must be answered,” Frey added.

St├ęphane Berger of Groupe Berger / Mega-Stage, which provided the stage for the event, told Pollstar he agreed it was “weird” that all other structures at the festival stood untouched but maintains that the main stage was sound and the collapse was triggered by a “sudden ascendant wind.”

“The engineers in charge of the investigation are presently working with a meteorologist expert to get precisions (sic) on the weather phenomenon everybody saw,” he said.

Berger previously explained winds at Bluesfest went from about 28 mph to around 87 mph in two minutes, leaving a technician with insufficient time to take down wind walls on the Mark III staging structure.

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour is currently investigating the incident and has asked festival organizers for video of the collapse and any engineering documentation of the stage, according to the CBC.

Photo: AP Photo
Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen walks past the main stage at Ottawa Bluesfest after it collapsed.

One of the points of concern could possibly be how the windscreens were secured and why they were not fully released.

“The windscreens were partially released just before the wind came in,” Berger said.