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Terrorists Bomb Ariana Grande Concert, 22 Dead

UPDATE, 15:08, 24 May 2017.
I’m sorry folks, I just couldn’t look at this yesterday.  Too much going on.  There has been so much sent out about this terrorist coward attack; I have gotten several emails asking about updates, and this is what we know so far.  This shit is unbelievable to the normal person, we shouldn’t have to be writing stories and reading headlines about someone who blew themselves up over a religion.

Identified/publicly known victims — resquiescat en pace, you poor innocent souls:

Here’s the current details as per update time and date:

  • UK terror police have been kicking in doors and making a real stink among the known radical community; six have been arrested so far
  • Currently, the bomb maker is said to be at large in the UK
  • The Daesh pigs have claimed responsibility for this attack, and apparently the bomber was a member.
  • Killed and wounded:  22 dead, 64 wounded, some critically.  The death number is expected to grow.
  • The coward who blew himself up among women, children, families, and innocent bystanders is named Salman Abedi. Unfortunately, the United States released his name and pretty much annoyed the UK CIA folk, who were kinda pissed that the US had done that.  However, this coward has a brother, Hashim, also radicalized, that was just arrested, maybe 15 minutes ago (15:43, 24 May 2017) for yet another terror plot, in Libya.

Coward-ass Daesh goat and Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi

CBS 8 in Las Vegas posted a Skype interview with Ariana Grande crew member Zack Purcifal:

LAS VEGAS – A day after a deadly terror attack in Manchester, England, a Las Vegas man who was in Manchester Arena when the bomb went off described the chaos and confusion he witnessed that night.

Zack Purciful is a part of the production crew that works behind the scenes of Ariana Grande’s tour.  Purciful spoke exclusively with 8 News NOW by Skype from England Tuesday night.

“Shrieks and like, basically panic reaction of retreating from the exit aisles; that was basically picked up very, very quickly,” Purciful said.

According to Purciful, the moments after the attack were very confusing as he and the rest of Grande’s crew tried to figure out why everyone was scrambling.

Purciful said, with all of the loud exit music playing in the arena, when he heard the bang, he thought and wondered if some of the balloons released at the end of the show had popped, but that wasn’t it.

According to Purciful, in the moments following the explosion, he saw young, scared kids scrambling for a safe place to exit the Manchester Arena.

Purciful, who’s from Las Vegas, says it took him a few minutes for to realize everything that was happening wasn’t a drill.

“This was the real deal, Purciful said.  “There were bodies.”

A fellow crew member rushed to the P.A. system and calmly advised people to slow down and exit carefully.  Purciful said he evacuated the arena as SWAT-like teams with stone cold expressions swarmed the building.

Purciful described their demeanor saying they had, “a full kit, just like you would expect from a group of guys going into a bad situation.  Full body armor, long rifles and a determined look on their face.”

Video and pictures showed a chaotic crowd of concert-goers waiting outside of the exits.

“I basically witnessed emergency vehicles all night,” Purciful said.  “Sirens and blue lights all night.”

In the meantime, some people searched for loved ones.

“I made a quick group text to my family to let them know something happened and that I’m ok,” Purciful said.

“Everything we do is for the kids, so for them to target the kids — it’s the most heartbreaking thing in the world,” Purciful said.
“It’s hard to quantify.”

Purciful said the ordeal has left him with a “feeling of hopelessness.”

The bomb ignited a chain of emotions for every person there as it changed 20,000 lives forever.

“This is certainly a wake-up call about the realities of the world,” Purciful said.

According to Purciful, a lot of crew members, including those from Las Vegas, are staying in London until they figure out their next move.

Around 14 trucks of equipment, staging, and props are still inside the arena as investigators continue to go through all the evidence.

From the Telegraph, regarding Salman Abedi:

Abedi has “proven” links with Islamic State, according to France’s interior minister.

Gerard Collomb told French television that both British and French intelligence services had information that Abedi had been in Syria.

Mr Collomb said: “All of a sudden he travelled to Libya and then most likely to Syria, became radicalised and decided to commit this attack.”

Abedi had been a “regular kid”, who went out and drank until around a year ago when he “dropped off the radar”, the Times reported the bomber’s former landlord’s nephew as saying.

The paper quoted a friend as saying he had returned from a three-week trip to Libya in recent days.

Abedi’s trips to Libya are now subject to scrutiny including links to jihadists.

A group of Gaddafi dissidents, who were members of the outlawed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), lived within close proximity to Abedi in Whalley Range.

Among them was Abd al-Baset Azzouz, a father-of-four from Manchester, who left Britain to run a terrorist network in Libya overseen by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as leader of al-Qaeda.

Azzouz, 48, an expert bomb-maker, was accused of running an al-Qaeda network in eastern Libya. The Telegraph reported in 2014 that Azzouz had 200 to 300 militants under his control and was an expert in bomb-making.

Explosion location; amber squares are fatality locations

Original post:

The extremists are at it again, this time they have targeted a crowd full of tween and teenage kids at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

First things first, the crew and band are safe and no one from the production team, in my initial researching, has been hurt.  Sorry folks, this is an industry blog.  Industry family is first to me.

Catch up:

and this:

If you were here last night — police are looking for video footage:
www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or www.ukpoliceimageappeal.com

This is terribly f**ked.  Authorities are calling this obviously a terror attack — reports are that a “shrapnel-style” improvised explosive device or devices were detonated just after the end of the show, some reports say “just after the last song,” the lights were on.  The bomber, who authorities believe was a lone bomber, set off his bullshit right in the middle of people leaving in droves in the foyer of the venue.  What a righteous, big-man move, blowing up a frigging bomb while innocent people were leaving a concert.  Witnesses reported seeing loose nuts and bolts strewn everywhere after the explosion; proof that this was some kind of casualty-centric fragmenting explosion meant to maim and kill.  The bomber is dead; this was the biggest attack in the city’s history.

Allow me to reiterate:  these cowards attacked an arena full of young kids, teenagers, and parents.

Moment of the explosion — listen about five seconds in, you can hear the thud:

What we know as of 12:44am CDT, Tuesday, 23 May 2017, from the BBC:

  • The arena said the explosion happened outside the venue, as people began streaming from the doors
  • Greater Manchester Police were called to the scene at 22:35 BST on Monday and surrounding roads were closed
  • The cause is unknown but Prime Minister Theresa May said police were treating it as “an appalling terrorist attack”
  • GMP chief constable Ian Hopkins said the force would treat it as terror “until we have further information”
  • If confirmed to be a terrorist attack it would be the worst in the UK since 56 people were killed in the London bombings of July 2005
  • Unconfirmed reports from two unnamed US officials suggested the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber
  • Eyewitnesses reported nuts and bolts strewn around the floor and the smell of explosives
  • All national campaigning in the general election has been suspended
  • Mrs May will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee at 09:00
  • The nearby Victoria railway station was evacuated and all Tuesday trains have been cancelled

The mess leaving the show floor, from Twitter user @Hannawwh:

Reporting from Al Jazeera English:

Who else in Production/Design is pissed off?  These cowards.

PA announcer telling everyone “nothing is wrong, no need to rush…”

More as it develops.  Stay tuned.

Hat tips:

http://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-england-manchester-40007967

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-40008026

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-40007886

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/manchester-arena-explosions-two-loud-10478734

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/22/manchester-arena-police-explosion-ariana-grande-concert-england

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/multiple-people-killed-ariana-grande-concert-britain-article-1.3186874

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/manchester-arena-terror-live-updates-10478734

Manchester Ariana Grande Bombing Victims: Photos to Remember Their Lives

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/808422/Manchester-bombing-explosion-victims-survivors-Ariana-Grande-terror-attack-arena

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/manchester-bombing-photos-device-backpack-shrapnel-detonator-salman-abedi-images-a7754281.html

http://www.bunburymail.com.au/story/4679830/children-among-the-22-confirmed-dead-in-manchester-arena-bombing/

http://www.smh.com.au/world/fatalities-in-manchester-arena-explosion-after-ariana-grande-concert-20170522-gwatx7.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/multiple-people-killed-ariana-grande-concert-britain-article-1.3186874

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/24/everything-know-salman-abedi-named-manchester-suicide-bomber/

https://nyti.ms/2qWDpJZ

 

 

Caveat Emptor: Have You Been Following the #FyreFestival?!

Were you a Fyre Festival Production contractor or employee?
We want to hear from you.
contact us here ASAP.

Update, 15 May 2017:
Looks like nobody is getting paid from Fyre Festival.  You can listen to the entire call at Vice News right now via SoundCloud, and let me tell you, it is some unreal stuff.  He starts out saying that ‘hey, a lot of people will resign after this and we understand, but if you want to stay with the company, we welcome you to stay and maybe we can make payroll in the future.’  Say whaaaaaat?!

Also, they’re not letting anybody go so that they can claim unemployment.  What the hell is that???  Listen to the recording.  This shit is UN-REAL.  Click the red PLAY arrow below.  Ja Rule starts off the call saying ““I’m on the phone, but I can barely hear you all because of this fucking hum” this and that.  Then Billy McFarlane says ‘don’t delete any files, the FBI needs them.’

Whaaat?

Two incredible financial articles from Bloomberg on this mess:
Fyre Festival Promoter’s $90 Million Valuation Untethered to Reality
Fyre Festival was Buried Under Millions in Debt Before it Even Began


SOOOOO…  The FYRE FESTIVAL.

Right now there is a huuuuuuge controversy over a big festival planned by Ja Rule and some guy named Billy McFarland over the disaster situation called Fyre Festival.

The FYRE FESTIVAL dinner! FOUR GRAND for this

There are tons of links on this, bear with me — the crap hole seems to run deep on this one.  Here’s the ad video for the Fyre Festival:

Looks pretty cool so far, damn!  Jet skis, women in little tiny bikinis who don’t talk to guys built like me, big muscly dudes who they do talk to, famous people, a bunch of bands, catered and liquored, hobnobbing with other rich “influencers” and all that…  Fyre Festival looks pretty awesome from the outside advertising, no?!

Vice News:

If Fyre Festival seemed last-minute, that’s because it was. McFarland thought of the idea in October 2016 and announced the festival on Instagram a month later, spending millions on models, private jets, and yachts to promote what would be his first-ever large-scale event, sources familiar with the planning said.

He spent $250,000 on a single Instagram post from Kim Kardashian’s half-sister Kendall Jenner and laid out hundreds of thousands more on lesser-name “influencers,” none of whom were paid less than $20,000, one person familiar with the payments said.

Uh, what?  This guy McFarland started planning this thing two months before people were starting to arrive on the island.  I wonder if he thought he could throw some money around and just magically “white rich guy” shit into happening.  Wait, there’s more!  Here’s luggage pickup.  That’s a couple of guys unloading everyone’s luggage in the dark:

I guess things didn’t go so well. Early in my career a person I looked up to retaught me something my dad had always said — “Remember the 5 P’s of Performance: Piss Poor Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

Right now, the Fyre Festival website URL directs you to a letter — an apology maybe?  I don’t know, what do you think?

In case the image doesn’t load through, here’s the text that I scanned from the Fyre Festival site on 5/4/2017:

Fyre Festival
April 29, 2017

Yesterday was a very challenging day for all of us. But we would like to fully explain what happened.

Billy McFarland and Ja Rule started a partnership over a mutual interest in technology, the ocean, and rap music. This unique combination of interests led them to the idea that, through their combined passions, they could create a new type of music festival and experience on a remote island.

They simply weren’t ready for what happened next, or how big this thing would get. They started by making a website and launching a viral campaign. Ja helped book talent, and they had hundreds of local Bahamians join in the effort. Suddenly, they found themselves transforming a small island and trying to build a festival. Thousands of people wanted to come. They were excited, but then the roadblocks started popping up.

As amazing as the islands are, the infrastructure for a festival of this magnitude needed to be built from the ground up. So, we decided to literally attempt to build a city. We set up water and waste management, brought an ambulance from New York, and chartered 737 planes to shuttle our guests via 12 flights a day from Miami. We thought we were ready, but then everyone arrived.

The team was overwhelmed. The airport was jam packed. The buses couldn’t handle the load. And the wind from rough weather took down half of the tents on the morning our guests were scheduled to arrive. This is an unacceptable guest experience and the Fyre team takes full responsibility for the issues that occurred.

Everyone was very concerned for our guests. They needed a place to sleep and everyone did their absolute best to rebuild. We took everyone to the beach and built as many tents and beds as fast as possible, but as more guests arrived, we were simply in over our heads. Ultimately, we didn’t think security could keep up, so we had to postpone the festival. The response to the postponement was immediate and intense. We had no other options, so we began the process of getting guests quickly and safely back to Miami, which continued through the weekend. Our top priority as a company is to ensure the comfort and safe return home of all of our guests.

Then something amazing happened: venues, bands, and people started contacting us and said they’d do anything to make this festival a reality and how they wanted to help. The support from the musical community has been overwhelming and we couldn’t be more humbled or inspired by this experience. People were rooting for us after the worst day we’ve ever had as a company. After speaking with our potential partners, we have decided to add more seasoned event experts to the 2018 Fyre Festival, which will take place at a United States beach venue.

All festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details. Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival.

We’re grateful for the Bahamian Government and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for their assistance during this challenging time—their efforts have been exemplary. We want to thank the people of the Bahamas for their support and for graciously allowing us the privilege of visiting their islands. We apologize for any inconvenience the past 24-hours has caused and we look forward to making a considerable donation to the Bahamas Red Cross Society as part of our initiatives. We need to make this right. And once we make this right, then we will put on the dream festival we sought to have since the inception of Fyre.

Thank you for all your continued patience and understanding. We apologize for what all of our guests and staff went through over the last 24 hours and will work tirelessly to make this right. Please check our official social media channels (@fyrefestival) for further important updates.

Oh, and Ja Rule’s tweet.  It’s not his fault either:

Honestly, I gotta tell you that it seems like with the proper planning, some actual event professionals as ourselves could have put on a pretty massively cool festival there, albeit at pretty massive expense to the people buying the tickets — but those tickets, some of them were upwards of FORTY GRAND, so instead of the creators pissing away millions on jets, models, and that kind of rich people stuff, they could have been putting in some money on infrastructure and planning — OR, cancelled the thing before a single person was put in that pretty precarious situation.  I am not an attorney, but knowing that place was in such unprepared shambles as it was, with the main acts dropping out…letting people fly there is pretty dangerously illegal behavior, is it not?

Were you a Fyre Festival Production contractor?
We want to hear from you
contact us here ASAP.

Toilet and plumbing situation:

Serious logistical planning for the festival didn’t even begin until late February or early March — less than two months before the thousands of people McFarland had sold a luxury vacation on a private island were scheduled to arrive.

The toilet and shower supplier, who did not get the Fyre Festival contract, told the organizers it would cost north of $1 million just to order the equipment — a rush-order mark-up he unironically referred to as “disaster pricing.” That number did not include the cost of shipping the equipment to the island or the high cost of the barge needed to dispose of the wastewater created by thousands of people showering and using the toilet for four days.

From ABC on the actual shutdown of the island the festival was on by the Bahamanian government:

The site in the Bahamas where the now-postponed Fyre Festival was to happen is on “lockdown” by the island country’s government.

Private security guards were seen Saturday protecting the main site where people had been slated to sleep in luxury tents.

On Sunday, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism told ABC News, “Customs has the area on lockdown because [festival organizer] Billy [McFarland] has not paid customs duty taxes on the items that he imported” for the event. “He and his staff have left the items with a security company guarding it.”

ABC News is attempting to reach McFarland for comment in regard to the tourism ministry’s statement.

Customs duty taxes are often levied on goods transported internationally.

Fyre Festival said in a statement Friday that it had to import many items to essentially build a city because the private island of Fyre Cay where the luxury concert event was to take place, lacked “the physical infrastructure” needed “to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests.”

News of a lockdown at the site comes after festival organizers released a statement Saturday trying to explain what happened with the festival, which was postponed amid a storm of complaints posted on social media.

The event, tickets for which cost up to thousands of dollars, erupted into what the tourism office called “total disorganization and chaos” after hundreds of prospective concertgoers landed in the Bahamas. The planned lineup included Ja Rule, Daya and Tyga.

On Saturday, the organizers promised in a statement posted to the festival’s website that “all festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details.”

“Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival,” the statement read.

Next year’s festival?  Really!  Here’s the chaos before night fell, the guy who posted this in the comments on the tweet said “night has fallen, we still have no luggage.”  Whoa.

This right here might be the funniest representation of the festival, so bear with me, it’s not English, but it is subtitled and outstanding:

Variety has an outstanding article with two former employees of the Fyre Festival Funk — check this out, this makes me want to punch this dumbass in the neck because what he has done is to degrade our entire industry as some kind of half-assed hope-and-pray squad when what has happened is that this rich jerk fired everybody who told him this was impossible:

The two production professionals became concerned as soon as they came on board. “They had fired a [previous production company], so we took a look at how much had been done — and there were so many red flags,” one said. “Things like water [supply], bathrooms and other everyday structures that should have been in place six months before — none of that had been done. We all said to them, ‘It takes at least eight months to a year to produce a festival, you have to push the date’ — we stressed that and said that over and over. And they were like ‘It’ll be fine, it’s not that big of a deal.’ They kept making it seem like we were exaggerating. It was like they didn’t care.”Even appealing to the young entrepreneurs’ reputations among the rich-millennial set they coveted had little effect.

“We said, ‘What you’ve promised [in statements and advertising promoting the festival] as opposed to what we’re even maybe capable of delivering in this amount of time is not the same. You’re going to destroy your brand if you try to have it on this date and don’t deliver what you promised. If you push the date a year, people will be upset. But once you deliver what you promised, they’ll get over it.’ But it was like they didn’t care: They literally kept saying, ‘We’re gonna be legends.’”

And therein lies what may be the most baffling element of the entire Fyre fiasco. Being “legends” and catering to rich VIPs seems to have been the main motivation in establishing the festival.

“I actually don’t think it was about money,” the second professional said. “I think they were just rich guys who had always been able to pay their way through things and pull them off somehow, and they just didn’t understand that the timeline was too short and they didn’t want to hear it. I think their friends and the people they wanted to have a good time — the VIPs — would be staying at [nearby] villas and resorts and on yachts and be safe, they didn’t worry as much about infrastructure and the everyday ticket-buyer.”

The level of disorganization was so deep that as recently as mid-March, it’s likely that several vital elements of producing a festival had not yet been secured (and it’s unclear whether they ever were). “I kept stressing that they had to get festival insurance, you can’t run a festival without it, and I honestly don’t know if they ever got it,” the first former employee said. “And I know for a fact that even though the [emergency medical services] company and staff they’d hired was certified, the festival hadn’t secured the proper permits for them to be able to practice in the Bahamas.”

Here’s a millennial account of what went down because she was there — you can listen to all of it or fast forward about three minutes in, your choice.  It does have some footage of the clusterfuckery at that island…

I highly, highly recommend checking out William Finley’s twitter account, because that dude was there and he has some unreal footage.  This was a galactic cluster.
WHICH REMINDS ME, HERE’S THE PDF OF THE FIRST LAWSUIT!!!  Both links can be right-clicked and “save-as”

Geragos and Geragos complaint on behalf of Daniel Jung

Now some other rich people who were staying on the island in a villa made a video talking about his experience at the festival — he was on the ground and was participating until the festival was cancelled.  It’s a long rant, but it’s insight:

And then these two guys here are about to crack you up with a no-holds-barred recap.  Not safe language, FYI.

YIKES.  Well, I guess it will be interesting to see the lawsuit on this sucker.

 

Hat tips:

Fyre Festival Employees Reveal Details Behind the Disaster: ‘It Was Incompetence on an Inconceivable Scale’

https://news.vice.com/story/fyre-fest-organizers-blew-all-their-money-months-early-on-models-planes-and-yachts

William Finley’s twitter

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/fyre-festival-organizers-attendees-refunded-full/story?id=47103941

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/ja-rule-speaks-fyre-festival-controversy-im-heartbroken/story?id=47089576

 

 

Stage Accident in China – 1 Killed, 13 Wounded

I’d just like to say to Jolin Tsai:
You are lucky you’re alive to sing right now, your minutes have been being handed out to you.
I hope your people design something a little less dangerous and a little more geared to prolonging your career.

jolin-tsai-falling-stage

Updated photo above from the Shanghaiist

jolin-tsai-accident

Unfortunately I have terrible news coming from Nanning City, China for a Jolin Tsai concert being set up.  The photos are horrible, it’s a twisted hunk of mess.  Another stage accident in China.

These kinds of things are why companies should be throwing fuck-tons of money at the Event Safety Alliance.  Just ship it in container trucks.

From ProLightingSpace and XinghuaNet:

NANNING, Oct. 29 (Xin hua) — One person was killed and 13 others injured on Thursday when a stage lighting under construction for a concert by Taiwanese pop singer Jolin Tsai collapsed in south China’s Nanning City.

The accident happened at around 5 p.m. in the Guangxi Sports Center in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, when workers were building the structure, according to local government sources.

One of the injured is in a serious condition while the rest suffered minor injuries.

Tsai’s concert was scheduled for Saturday. She took to her microblog to express sadness at the accident.

Photos are tough.

jolin-tsai-accident-3
jolin-tsai-accident-2

jolin-tsai-disaster-91

jolin-tsai-accident

More news as we get it.  First spotted on ProLightingSpace.

Updates from The Theatre Safety Blog, two new images:

Post Collapse View over cases

jolin-tsai-accident-z

From South China Morning News:

A worker was killed after stage lights collapsed as staff were setting up for a concert by the Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai in southern China.

The accident happened on Thursday afternoon at the Guangxi Stadium in Nanning, the news website Chinanews.com reported.

Firefighters, rescue workers and police pulled 14 people free caught under equipment, the report said.

One person died at the scene and another was seriously injured.

The concert, scheduled for Saturday night, has been cancelled and ticket buyers can request a refund, the organisers said in a statement.

Police are investigating the accident.

Tsai, often referred to as “Asia’s Dancing Queen”, has been likened to top American singers such as Beyoncé.

Tsai wrote on her social media account on Thursday night: “Please pray together for the victims.”

Updates as we get them.

 

Stage Collapse in China with Full Choir, 8 Injured

I was hoping we’d have more information by now, but something to remember with this story is that it happened in one of the most media-controlled countries on Earth…

A full choir was rehearsing on Saturday when that full choir free-fell into the space under the stage in a gruesome-looking stage collapse.  Honestly, we’ll probably not know the source of this accident, the investigation of this accident, or the condition of the people in this accident.  Furthermore, another reality to keep in mind is that there’s nothing we can do about any of that.  Here’s hoping that we hear something regarding the condition of the people injured in this pretty scary event:

Another view of the incident:

One has to wonder about how that went down. At once, the entire Policeman’s choir plunged into the deck:

The Police Choir, rehearsing for their upcoming event...

The Police Choir, rehearsing for their upcoming event…

Second frame -- the Police choir all at once descending into the floor

Second frame — the Police choir all at once descending into the floor

AFTERMATH -- the choir has disappeared from the stage view in a two seconds, leaving screams and patrons hurrying to their aid

AFTERMATH — the choir has disappeared from the stage view in a two seconds, leaving screams and patrons hurrying to their aid

We sincerely do hope everyone is ok…  but I have very little hopes of getting much more true information out of this situation.  Stay tuned.

From China Insider:

A video of the accident, which was widely circulated on social media on Monday, shows the heavily loaded stage collapsing suddenly and sending choir members tumbling amid screams from the audience and choir.

In the video, three choir members were seen rushing to the stage after singing had already started. Seconds later, after one of the three latecomers had taken their place, the stage collapsed. A crash was heard when the stage hit the ground.

All 80 choir members were from a local police force, state media said.

The choir was rehearsing for a singing contest to mark Labour Day under the theme of “Chinese Dream” – a phrase coined by President Xi Jinping and later promoted by governments of all levels around China.

In October last year, 16 music fans plunged to their deaths when a ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed during an outdoor pop concert in South Korea.

The victims fell 20 metres into an underground parking area when the grate gave way while they were watching girl band 4Minute. At least a dozen others were injured.

In the United States late last month dozens of people were injured when a stage collapsed during a high school rock performance in the state of Indiana, US media reported.

From the CCTV+ news site:

Eight singers were injured when a lifting stage of a theater in southwest China’s Guizhou province suddenly dropped to the ground level on Saturday afternoon.

The accident occurred when some 80 singers were rehearsing on the lifting stage in the grand theater of Bijie city around 15:00. All the singers were seen suddenly descending with the falling stage and disappearing from sight except for the conductor.

Medical workers rushed to help, and the accident caused eight injuries, two of them seriously.

The cause of the stage failure is being investigated.

Stay tuned, anything we find we will update at the top.

We Should Be Sick Of This Shit By Now – Thoughts on the Death of Sarah Jones

sarah-jones-service-poster

I have gotten two messages now asking me why I hadn’t commented on the death of Sarah Jones.  Sarah was the camera crewwoman struck by the train outside of Doctortown, Georgia on February 20 during the filming of Midnight Rider, and her death is opening up all kinds of those “oh, well holy shit, there weren’t permits” barrels of monkeys that you would assume would be opened when someone is tragically killed.

survivor-guillard

This is Joyce Gilliard, she was a hairdresser on the film.  She was almost killed in the train bridge, too.  She had her arm snapped in half by the train, and then fell onto some steel cables under the tressel.

Well folks, I have only one real answer to why.  It’s simple.  Researching death and disasters and accidents where people were ripped limb from limb or fell 100 feet onto a concrete floor or had thousands of pounds of rig fall on them from trim height at a fairthis kind of stuff makes me hurt inside.  I needed a break.  It sucks looking up these kinds of facts, learning about so-and-so-who-was-up-and-coming-in-their-field because the next time, it’s going to be another so-and-so-rising-star with a different name that will have an equally gut-wrenching, tear-pulling story.  This shit gets old, let me be the first to tell you.  Researching the disaster at the Indiana State Fair truly made me sob a few times, it’s hard to hear those stories and write those words.

Here is the part where I comment organizations like the Event Safety Alliance for doing what they do, which is trying to stop this nightmarish stuff from happening in the first place.

As a whole, we are an industry that waits until stuff gets really broken before we fix it, and usually the fix comes either after a death, series of deaths, or a majorly serious catastrophe like the Indiana State Fair disaster or the Radiohead stage collapse.  Suck it up, haters, it’s a fact.  Most industries are, ours is no different until we make it so.

Why is it though that people generally wait so long to act on potential items of aggravated disaster?  There are really too many questions that need answered here to be done in a human lifetime – why do companies who were previously denied access to film on a train bridge get caught filming on that bridge, ultimately causing deaths?  Why  Is it the cost of doing things safely?  You have to admit, we persist and thrive in a relatively dangerous environment with myriad variables all having a potential for a seriously negative outcome.  What we do in Entertainment can sometimes be one of the most potentially hazardous environments there is due to the nature of what we do and what we make — doesn’t that alone demand that we follow every procedure, every line item, every method possible, EVERY TIME to save the lives of our people, our brothers, sisters, husbands, and wives who make the stuff the producers and executives make shit tons of money selling?

Here’s what I know in my heart:  this stuff that we do, that we love, that we love to love and hate all at the same time — our work has ZERO worth when it has to be measured in the number of lives it took to make it.  Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to be concerned about your safety in this business.  I hope I’m not breaking the news to you now, but the people at the very top care about the money, not you.  There are more yous to do the job, ask any one of the thousands of unemployed entertainment techs out there.  Please though, remember that all of this is just entertainment, it’s just business.  When you get killed in an accident because you sacrificed yourself for the sake of the art, the people who paid for you to make the art are going to be sad for sure, but are still going to be sad all the way to the bank while they cash the checks you got for them with your life…

…and you won’t see a dime of that money because you’ll be dead.

midnight_rider_train_tracks_above

I’m sorry everybody, but I just don’t wanna write about this one.  This article is the authority on the subject so far that I have seen.

Another Structure Falls – Stage Roof Made from Genie Towers Collapses in North Carolina

from WCNC Charlotte - Shelby stage collapse photos

from WCNC Charlotte – Shelby stage collapse photos (click for larger view)

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.  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.  Here’s what the promoters have stated - 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 Legion’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 band’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.

“We knew we were going to get what looked like scattered showers and nothing real bad,” Holbrook said. “Then all of a sudden, within a five-minute span, the winds shifted and immediately there was a severe weather storm alert.”

He added that the company that built the stage, L&N Productions, is “extremely reputable” and has worked on concerts for national artists across the Southeast.

“We didn’t have any concern whether these people had taken any shortcuts,” he said. “We’re attributing it all to the weather.”

Fans were not inside the fairgrounds at the time of the collapse because the gate and ticket sales office weren’t scheduled to open for another 30 minutes.

from WCNC Charlotte - Shelby stage collapse photos

from WCNC Charlotte – Shelby stage collapse photos (click for larger view)

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.  It didn’t take much to knock that thing over.  The roof was picked with spansets…not properly.  The up and down stage double hung was with what looked like truck straps.  The genies didn’t have outriggers – but just the stabilizers.  And the straps they had ‘holding it down’ didn’t make sense.  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.  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.”  Somehow I hope the entire production world learns to stay away from this company’s shows.  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.  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.  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.  Notice the spansets holding the roof structure onto the Genie towers, then ask yourself — WHERE are the outriggers on those towers?  Then maybe ask yourself — WHERE ARE THE OUTRIGGERS ON THOSE GENIE TOWERS?!!  Are those SPANSETS holding the roof to the towers?!  Are those ratchet straps holding the roof down?  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.  Here’s their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/landninc


theafters-stage-collapse

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. —

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:

wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina |

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.

genie-tower-wind-safety

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.

stage-collapse-after

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.

cleveland-co-christian-concert-collapse

stage-collapse-north-carolina

Ken Johnson, Father of Drum Tech Killed in Radiohead’s Stage Collapse in Toronto, Wants Answers

toronto-stage-collapse-radiohead

hi-stage-radiohead-truong-8col

Just over a year ago, Scott Johnson was onstage under a massive roof structure in Toronto, Ontario tuning drums for Radiohead’s upcoming show that night.  This would be the last time he ever tuned the kit again, as later that afternoon the roof structure came tumbling down on top of Scott and three other people.  The others made it.  Scott Johnson was killed.

A year has passed, and Scott Johnson’s dad, Ken, is destroyed.  He’s also pissed at how long this is taking, getting some justice for his dead son — who was doing the one thing he loved to do more than anything.  All he wants is answers, but the Crown hasn’t any for him.  From an interview article at The Spec:

Ken has been searching for answers ever since, crying daily over the loss of his only child, waiting to hear who’s to blame.

The Ministry of Labour recently announced 13 charges against concert organizer Live Nation, a staging company, and an engineer.

A postponed trial is expected to begin Thursday.

“I want to be there,” said Ken, weeping over the phone. “I want to see the people involved and hear what they have to say.”

The charges include eight against Live Nation Canada Inc. and Live Nation Ontario Concerts GP Inc., under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The ministry alleges that Live Nation failed to ensure the stage was adequately designed and that every employer complied with the act.

Optex Staging & Services Inc. faces four charges, and engineer Domenic Cugliari is charged with endangering a worker, resulting from his advice or certification.

The maximum fine against a corporation, if convicted, is $500,000 per charge. Individuals face $25,000 per charge or up to a year in prison.

Ken Johnson, who works for a scaffolding safety association in England, is hoping the trial results in some “lessons” for those involved.

“Maybe people should have done some things differently,” he said. “Whatever the outcome of the trial, I just hope that it’s fair and honest.”

He said Scott was an honest, hard worker living his dream. Tuning drums for Radiohead was a pinnacle in his career, reached after years of determination.

“He always wanted to be a performer, but realized that wasn’t going to pan out,” said Ken, who used to cart his son around to perform small shows as a teen. “This was the next best thing.”

It breaks my heart to read of how this is going.  I know legal matters take time and accidents of this nature need investigated — but one has to wonder just exactly what is going to come of this, who is going to pay, and why.  “Scott’s message in life was to be fair, and none of this is fair,” said Ken Johnson, interviewed over the phone. “I still cry every day.”

Scott had been on the road with The Killers, the Australian Pink Floyd Show and Keane over the previous 8 years, taking on Radiohead in his career as the pinnacle of his performance.  Scott’s dad also talks about calling home once a week or more, spending time with his folks via Skype in his hotel room while on the road.

A memorial fund has been started for Scott Johnson that donates drum kits to students, along with other awesome positive acts for young musicians.  Visit the Scott Johnson Bursary Fund for Young Musicians.

scottdrumkit

 

radiohead-stage-collapse-CTV

Stage Collapse in Phuket, Thailand – One Dead, One Injured

Unfortunately, a stage roof has collapsed in Phuket, Thailand due to a huge windstorm that blew through and tipped over the stage.  From a post at English language station Phuket Wan:

PHUKET: Wild winds toppled part of the structure supporting the stage at Saphan Hin public park in Phuket City tonight, killing one person and injuring a second person.

The death occurred on the final night of the Phuket Prison Fair, at which furniture and other goods from jails across the south of Thailand are on sale.

Phuketwan carried a report earlier today warning of severe winds that ripped Phang Nga, tearing the roofs off at least 20 homes around Phang Nga Town.

The structure around the stage on Phuket toppled about 7.40pm on the final night of the fair.

Officials at the Phuket-based Southern Meteorological Centre (West Coast) were forecasting gusts of up to 60kmh and warning small boats to stay ashore tomorrow.

Predictions give Phuket a 60 percent chance of rain over the next few days. The weather is expected to worsen on Friday and Saturday.

So far Phuketwan is the only English-language news outlet to report the dangers posed by the severe weather and to record tonight’s death.

My guess is that no one planned on the storm happening, and there was definitely no safety officer on the scene to clear people out.

phuket-stage-collapse-1

phuket-stage-collapse-2

Part of the larger stage, a green-room type tent covering:

phuket-stage-collapse-3

phuket-stage-collapse-4

As quick as it went through, it was gone.

phuket-stage-collapse-5

phuket-stage-collapse-6

No news yet on the actual number of injured, but the once person killed seems to be from a solid source across multiple outlets.

People, be careful out there.  Mother Nature doesn’t care where we decide to do a show, she’s coming whether we like it or not.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a concert or a jail show like this one — safety first, last, and always.

Radiohead Stage Collapse in Toronto — 1 Dead, 3 Wounded

Scroll down for updates, please.

Oh no, not again.

My buddy Elie sent me this link from CBC News.  Radiohead‘s stage collapsed this afternoon — CBC News reports that a person is dead and at least 3 others are injured.  Toronto Star is reporting that it’s one dead and one injured critically.  It’s nice and calm here in Toronto today, I doubt this was weather-related.  From CBC News:

A stage at Toronto’s Downsview Park has collapsed in advance of a scheduled Radiohead concert, killing one person and injuring at least three, according to Toronto EMS.

Calls came in to emergency crews at about 4 p.m. ET. One person was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital in serious condition while two others assessed at the scene have minor injuries.

CBC’s Maria Nunes was driving by the park when she noticed the commotion. From her vantage point. she could see five ambulances, two police cars and a firetruck.

The 7:30 p.m. concert is cancelled. Gates had been scheduled to open at 5 p.m.

Some people at the park ahead of the show are saying on Twitter that the area has been cleared by emergency crews.

Police say the park wasn’t full but there was a considerable crowd of people already waiting for the show, and they are now leaving the area. The park is a frequent site of concerts, and 40,000 people were expected for tonight’s sold-out show by the hugely popular English band. The opener was to be Canadian act Caribou.

The weather in Toronto at the time of the accident was seemingly calm, with temperatures in the high 20s and the forecast calling for light winds.

More as it develops.  Radiohead was playing at Downsview Park near downtown for the North by Northeast Festival.  They’ve since cancelled the show.

Somebody taped the news broadcast below:

Update, Saturday, 7:13pm Eastern:

Most reports are saying that one person was killed, and the consensus is either three wounded or “several” wounded.  I spoke with a friend who was heading down early to see the Flaming Lips show later in the evening, and she said that there are lots of folks heading away from the Downsview Park area.  Police are asking people not to head to the area so that everything can be secured and investigated.

Story at the Montreal Gazette
Story at the Globe and Mail
Story at the Guardian
Story at the Province
Story at Canada.com
Story at NowPublic

I’m so sorry to have to report of the injured and killed again.  That is my least favorite part of writing.

More as I find it.  I’m not sure if this is even the time to bring it up, but there’s a creep around the place that Radiohead is playing at Sneaky Pete’s tonight; something not a rumor is that all ticket holders are being refunded for the show.

From NowPublic:

Update, Sunday, June 17, 5:51pm:

CNN posted an aerial flyby and an article of the Toronto stage that came down yesterday.  See below:

Thanks, @mcpoley, for tweeting the link.

—————————————————————-
Update, Monday, June 18, 2012, 9:55am:

I have to report that the name of the one man killed has been released.  Radiohead (and Keane) drum tech Scott Johnson, 33, was killed by what investigators are calling “a heavy, crushing injury.”  I’m so sorry to have to report that.  Another industry veteran down.  Investigations are being called “fairly complex,” but none of the outside investigation parties are being named at this time.

From the Toronto Star:

The provincial Ministry of Labour remained tight-lipped Sunday on details surrounding a stage collapse at Downsview Park that killed a drum technician for Radiohead and forced the cancellation of a sold-out show.

A spokesperson for the British band identified the drum technician as Scott Johnson, 33, of Doncaster, England. Johnson also toured with another U.K. band Keane.

“He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew,” Radiohead wrote on its website. “We will miss him very much.”

As three inspectors and two engineers from the ministry scoured the scene Sunday, it remained unclear what caused the massive structure to crumble, crushing Johnson and injuring three others.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene after sustaining what police said was a “heavy, crushing injury.”

Ministry spokesperson Matt Blajer said the investigation is “fairly complex” but could not confirm the names of any involved companies.

Meanwhile, industry professionals are questioning the circumstances leading up to the fatal accident, which occurred on an otherwise bright and sunny day, with only light winds.

From Radiohead‘s website:

We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague. He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew. We will miss him very much. Our thoughts and love are with Scott’s family and all those close to him.

Rest in peace, Scott Johnson.  More as it develops.

$300,000 to Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse Victims

Yeah, it’s not any easier to see.

Did you know that by law in the State of Indiana, the State cannot pay out more than five million dollars for one single tragedy, and it can pay no single victim more than $700,000?!  Ah, legislation.  If you can’t solve a problem, screw the constituents and remove the State of all fault.  That’s the Corporate way.

My source in Indiana says that all of the wreckage has been moved to a warehouse somewhere for “further study,” and that there’s a news story on every night or every few nights about how a reimbursement deadline has passed, or some other nightmare part of this mess has happened.  We’ve just come across a story here about how today is the last day for reimbursement deadlines if you’re taking the state’s offer of $300,000 for a death in this collapse.  A lot of people seem to think that $300,000 is a pretty rough lowball estimate on what their loss of life is worth.  Some people received just a small amount of money for injury, and some received a lot more – like a 17-year-old victim who is now paralyzed from the waist down.  He’s getting just $182,000 and change extra for his expenses.  He is paralyzed from the waist down.  Forever.  Not just until the just under $500,000 he’s being given runs out.   He’s paralyzed forever.  I guess he’s lucky that he’s not dead.  Life’s not getting in his way though – check out this article on how he’s doing, as he just learned to ski without the use of his legs.  Kinda awesome.

Somewhat of a schedule of payments was posted in an article at the Indy Star:

Families of each of the seven people who were killed will receive at least $300,000.

Surviving victims with physical injuries will get compensation for 65 percent of the medical expenses they accrued through Nov. 15.

A 17-year-old who is permanently paralyzed will receive an additional $182,476 for extra medical expenses.

All told, 65 victims — or families of Sugarland concertgoers who died — will receive state money, with payouts ranging from $109 to $503,042.

What gets left out? Future medical expenses and any expenses for psychological treatment.

Feinberg said the victims “have legitimate concerns about the amounts” they will receive, but he praised Zoeller for achieving, “with fingers crossed, (a) general consensus as to how the money should be allocated.”

However, that “consensus” doesn’t satisfy Kenneth J. Allen, the Valparaiso-based attorney who has already filed a lawsuit over the $5 million liability cap and the way the money is being handed out.

Allen, who represents six victims of the stage-rigging collapse, on Tuesday called the procedure “rash and not well-thought-out . . . just like the planning for the fair.”

This is a pretty ugly situation still, and I can only speculate that it will be one for a long, long time to come.  Right now, payouts for medical expenses stop for anything that happened after November 15, 2011.  So what happens if all of the medical expenses don’t stop for this thing until a year from now?  What if you’re paralyzed from the waist down forever?

You’ll be happy to know that truss collapse survivor and IATSE #30 member Steve Stover is alive and well, having had his entire face reconstructed.  As you can imagine, he’s slowly recovering and working through everything he’s experienced and survived.  Obviously he’s one of the lucky ones, being still alive and being mobile.

You know what makes me want to hurl about this whole thing?  All of the news is now about how the money is being doled out, or how the tort payments law in Indiana is unfair, or how “we need to revisit the law.”  People are dead.  There is a transparency that has been masked by the need to sink teeth into the money aspect of the incident, the need to get the restitution that I know I would feel if I were in any of these victims’ situations.  I didn’t want to be right about this, I wanted this one to be different.

Some additional linkage for this mess:

Talk about hindsight biting you directly on the tukkus – an executive from WLHK-FM came onstage right before the storm hit and gave a weather announcement.  Watch the video, read the transcript:

WLHK-FM (97.1) executive Bob Richards spoke on behalf of fair executive director Cindy Hoye and State Police Captain Brad Weaver.

Richards spoke for 55 seconds, and the statement is transcribed here:

“Good evening.  How are you?”
(cheers in crowd)
“As you can see to the west, there are some clouds.  We are all hoping for the best — that the weather is going to bypass us.  But there is a very good chance that it won’t.  So just a quick heads-up before the show starts:
If there is a point during the show where we have to stop the show onstage, what we’d like to have you do is calmly move toward the exits and then head across the street to either the Champions Pavilion, the Blue Ribbon Pavilion or the Pepsi Coliseum.  And then, once the storm passes and everything’s safe, we’re going to try our best to come back and resume the show — which we have every belief that that’s going to happen.”
(cheers in crowd)
“So please get ready, because in just a couple of minutes we’re going to try to get Sugarland onstage. Have a great show.”