Cheap Trick Sues Ottawa Bluesfest Over 2011 Stage Collapse
Two years after the stage collapsed in the middle of Cheap Trick's concert at the Ottawa Bluesfest, the band has filed suit against multiple parties involved in the festival, seeking $1 million in compensation.
The Guardian is reporting that the band, through Cheap Trick Touring, Inc., are suing the festival's organizers, as well as the companies who built the stage and the sound and lighting rigs, for putting "economic considerations over safety." They are seeking $400,000 for damages to their equipment, with the rest going to costs incurred in the aftermath of the incident, including replacement instruments, labor, travel and services.
Midway through their set at the 2011 Ottawa Bluesfest, wind gusts of up to 73 m.p.h. caused the stage to become unstable. Although the band got off before it collapsed, three people were taken to the hospital, including a roadie, who is also suing the festival for gross negligence.
In the suit, the group claims that the organizers failed to perform the necessary safety obligations, such as checking the weather, testing the strength of the stage and preparing the staff for an emergency. Perhaps most damning is a report from the Ontario Ministry of Labour stating that, although the stage could handle winds of up to 74.5 m.p.h., the operators failed to remove the wind-walls that "heightened the risk and increased the vulnerability to visitors, including Cheap Trick Touring."