This weekend’s deadly collapse of the grandstand stage at the Indiana State Fair has music lovers wondering about the safety of the Iowa State Fair stage.
The collapse in Indianapolis on Saturday night killed five people and injured more than 40. The Iowa State Fair is underway now with a host of events planned in the grandstand.
Iowa State Fair, spokeswoman, Lori Chappell, says the Des Moines stage is secure. “The big difference between the stage at the Iowa State Fair and the Indiana State Fair is, theirs is a temporary stage, aluminum riggings and very temporary in nature,” Chappell says. “Ours is a permanent stage. People have seen it out there more than 15 years. It’s well-constructed. It’s steel and wood. It’s solid.”
The country band Sugarland was about to take the stage in Indiana when 60- to 70-mile-an-hour winds hit, knocking down the structure on the crowd. No one in the band was hurt. Sugarland was supposed to play at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday night, but that show was cancelled.
“The equipment for the band was on the stage when all of this happened and so they are without equipment,” Chappell says. “Even if it was not damaged, they can’t get to it because the investigation is underway. There’s no access to that stage area. Beyond that, the band witnessing such a tragedy…I’m sure they’re in a state of recovery as well.”
Refunds are being offered for people who had tickets to Sunday night’s show. There’s racing at the Iowa State Fair tonight. The next concert at the grandstand is scheduled for Tuesday night with the Doobie Brothers and Kansas. See the video from the Indiana fair here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRkdwrmzYXg&feature=share