Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cheap Trick lobby Congress to regulate temporary stages

Cheap Trick aren’t letting their close call in Ottawa this summer go away without a fight.

Trick’s July 17 set at the Ottawa Bluesfest was interrupted by a sudden storm that caused the stage to collapse around them as the band narrowly escaped without injury.

Two weeks after the incident, the band canceled a Vancouver date, over staging concerns, when they discovered the same company that provided the Ottawa stage was handling the Vancouver show; alternate arrangements weren’t able to be made, so they decided not to risk another incident.

Now, the band are lobbying the US Congress over the issue.

On Monday, guitarist Rick Neilsen and band manger Dave Frey were on Capitol Hill, where the Chicago Tribune reports the two intended to urge congressmen to regulate temporary stages to prevent such an incident from happening again. Besides their own near-miss, they'll have plenty to talk about with legislators.

Cheap Trick's near-fatal incident was one of four last summer in which temporary stages were blown down amid foul weather during or just before musical performances, some with tragic consequences. In the following weeks, stages collapsed in Tulsa, destroying $800,000 worth of gear owned by the Flaming Lips but causing no injures; the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, resulting in seven deaths and dozens of injuries; and the Pukkelpop Music Festival in Belgium, where five people were killed and 140 injured.

"We want to make sure something like this doesn't happen again," Frey said. He and Nielsen hope that Congress will consider a "standard certification process as you would have with elevators or a ferris wheel at a carnival."

"For whatever reason this never got done"
in Ottawa, Frey said, and "that everyone got off that stage is unbelievable."

Cheap Trick – Ottawa stage collapse
CBC report – July 18, 2011

Cheap Trick Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick – The House Is Rockin’
Grove of Anaheim – Anaheim, CA – January 15, 2011

See also:

Cheap Trick cancels Vancouver show over safety concerns
VIDEO: Cheap Trick return to the stage
VIDEO: Robin Zander of Cheap Trick assesses Ottawa stage collapse scene
VIDEO: Cheap Trick cut short as Ottawa Bluesfest stage collapses during storm
VIDEO: Cheap Trick rock NHL post-game in Tampa Bay
VIDEO: Cheap Trick guitarist joins Slash in Chicago
VIDEO: Cheap Trick rock Conan