Tragedy has struck the Indiana State Fair. Failure to adequately secure a concert stage rigging caused its collapse in the face of strong winds just before the country music duo Sugarland was to perform. (Photos here). According to press reports, at least three people died and dozens more were injured when the temporary structure came crashing down upon fans waiting to see the award winning group consisting of singer-songwriters Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. Soon, the attention will turn to blame and legal liability. Ultimately the concert promoter, who typically provides the staging, will bear at least partial responsibility. Since the concert was outdoors, one can presume that winds, even high ones, were foreseeable and an appropriate outdoor stage rigging should have been in place prior to fans being allowed into the area. Some artists insist their own stage and lighting structure be used and if that is the case in this instance, Sugarland and/or their tour management company may be subject to liability.
This is an interesting (and common) legal situation that arises whenever negligence causes injury at a concert. Rest assured there will be much finger pointing between the Indiana State Fair, its concert promoters and individuals charged with securing and inspecting the premises to insure patron safety. Don’t hesitate to contact a qualified lawyer if you have questions regarding concert injuries.