UPDATE, Tuesday, August 13, 2013:
I have received some information that directly contradicts what the promoters of the American Legion event have publicly stated, which was covered in the news yesterday. Â What I think sucks is that no outlets of mainstream identity will pick up the other side of this story, which is that professionals in the field who have years of experience and training have contradictory information that negates their weather claims. Â Here’s what the promoters have stated -Â from an article at the Charlotte Observer, posted Sunday, August 11, 2013 – bolding is mine for informational emphasis:
The weather, not faulty construction, caused a stage to collapse at the Cleveland County fairgrounds on Saturday, an official with the American Legion, which was sponsoring the event, said Sunday.
MercyMe, a popular Christian band, was expected to perform in front of more than 10,000 fans Saturday night as part of American Legionâ€™s World Series concerts, which lead up to the tournament that runs Aug. 16-20 in Shelby.
But the temporary stage collapsed about 4 p.m. during the bandâ€™s sound check. The audience had not begun to arrive, and no one was injured, said Eddie Holbrook, co-chair of the local American Legion World Series committee.
â€œWe knew we were going to get what looked like scattered showers and nothing real bad,â€ Holbrook said. â€œThen all of a sudden, within a five-minute span, the winds shifted and immediately there was a severe weather storm alert.â€
He added that the company that built the stage, L&N Productions, is â€œextremely reputableâ€ and has worked on concerts for national artists across the Southeast.
â€œWe didnâ€™t have any concern whether these people had taken any shortcuts,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™re attributing it all to the weather.â€
Fans were not inside the fairgrounds at the time of the collapse because the gate and ticket sales office werenâ€™t scheduled to open for another 30 minutes.
It should be painfully obvious in looking at those photos that weather was a minor (if not a negligable factor) in that stage coming down.
From an official who spoke with JimOnLight.com and was not authorized to speak publicly on the collapse, a touring professional involved with production and NOT associated with L&N Productions:
“The stage was down well before those alleged ’70 mph winds’ hit. Â It didn’t take much to knock that thing over. Â The roof was picked with spansets…not properly. Â The up and down stage double hung was with what looked like truck straps. Â The genies didn’t have outriggers – but just the stabilizers. Â And the straps they had ‘holding it down’ didn’t make sense. Â And, for the record, the seats they had set up were for about 2000-2500 tops. Not the 10,000 the news was reporting.”
The news will never tell you that the stage should never have been built outside with Genie towers. Â The news will also never tell you that L&N Productions IS STILL DOING SHOWS, and has another one “just down the road from Shelby.” Â Somehow I hope the entire production world learns to stay away from this company’s shows. Â They have proven they have no respect for the safety of the crews, musical acts, and audience members.
Please, share the heck out of this, it’s important to get this contradicting information out there to counter the information being put out there. Â The promoter may believe that L&N is “reputable,” but they are simply lucky that this hasn’t happened before if this is the rig they are using outside for events. Â Genie towers should never be used like this.
I took some screenshots from the video posted from the local NBC affiliate, WCNC — watch the video, then look through the screenshots gallery below it. Â Notice the spansets holding the roof structure onto the Genie towers, then ask yourself — WHERE are the outriggers on those towers? Â Then maybe ask yourself — WHERE ARE THE OUTRIGGERS ON THOSE GENIE TOWERS?!! Â Are those SPANSETS holding the roof to the towers?! Â Are those ratchet straps holding the roof down? Â If you’re inquisitive like me, ask yourself one more question — were those ratchet straps holding those audio cabinets down on top of the scaffolding?
UPDATE, Monday, August 12, 2013:
The production company who believed this rig was safe was L&N Productions out of Hickory, NC – their website, http://www.landninc.com/, does not work. Â Here’s their Facebook page -Â https://www.facebook.com/landninc
That’s right, sports fans, there’s news of another structure collapse in the JimOnLight headlines this morning. No one was hurt at this religious concert festival at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in North Carolina, but this just goes to show you that not even God can help your production company when you use genie towers and ratchet straps outside to support the rig. If anyone knows who the production company was for this event, please let us know so that I can make sure that people know of their work.
From an article at WSOCTV:
CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. â€”
A stage collapsed at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds on Saturday night.
No one was hurt in the collapse at the fairgrounds, but the accident is forcing organizers to make some big changes.
Just hours before a concert was set to start at the Cleveland County Fairground, a gust of wind ripped through, toppling a stage.
An organizer said it happened when the stands were still empty, and no one was hurt.
More than 10,000 people were expected to show up for the American Legion World Series concerts. Saturday’s lineup featured Christian artists, Mercy Me, Aaron Shust and the Afters. The show was cancelled Saturday.
Organizers said they did not want to take any chances with safety.
The wind ripped down part of the stage that held the overhead lighting and there was too much damage to fix before showtime.
The Afters tweeted a picture of the stage saying, “Scary moment today. The stage collapsed as we were sound checking. Thankful to God that we are all ok.”
Holy moly. From WISTV, a video of the newscast:
Looks like it’s painfully obvious that the production company (still unknown at this point) didn’t read the first frigging page of the Genie Tower Safety Manual, I underlined the key components for you:
Do not operate the machine in strong or gusty winds. Increasing the load surface area will decrease machine stability in windy conditions. Do not leave a load raised when windy conditions may occur unless the machine(s) are properly guy-wired.
WHY OH WHY do people not understand BASIC PHYSICS?! When you add A SAIL to an already not strong structure, said structure IS COMING DOWN. More reason why we need to strengthen the rules in this industry — if for no other reason than to STOP the shitty companies from doing things that make us all look bad. This looks bad.
More on this if and when it develops. No one was hurt, THIS time. The event was the American Legion World Series, featuring a bunch of Christian acts. So much for that. I guess not even God can keep up improperly installed equipment.