Midwest Fests Battered By Storms

One person was killed and several others injured when strong winds toppled a tent during the Wood Dale Prairie Fest in Illinois Aug. 2.

Photo: Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune via AP
Authorities investigate a fatal tent collapse at the Prairie Fest in Wood Dale, Ill., Aug. 2.

The weekend fest, which featured performances by Suburban Cowboys plus several classic rock tribute acts, a carnival and food vendors, was cut short that afternoon when high winds and hail caused a large tent to buckle, deputy police chief Mike Rivas told the Chicago Tribune.

“People sought shelter under the tent and then it hit,” Rivas said. The tent landed on several people, prompting rescuers to begin cutting holes in the fabric tent to retrieve them, the paper noted.

Fifteen festivalgoers were taken to the hospital, three with serious injuries. Prairie Fest reportedly drew 5,000 Aug. 1 but was not crowded when the storm hit the following day.

Meanwhile at Lollapalooza, Grant Park was briefly evacuated the same afternoon when a storm hit Chicago. Concertgoers were sent to three pre-established shelters and the fest resumed about an hour later.