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I have a lot of questions about the two recent stage collapses, one in Indiana and the other in Belgium. Both collapsed due to sever weather.

Bellow are excerpts from two articles. The first is from rocknewsdesk.com and the second from rollingstone.com.

After you read the excerpts, please read my questions. Do you have answers or comments?

From rocknewsdesk.com:

70 people injured as storm hits Pukkelpop festival in Belgium and tears down two platforms, sound towers, tents and trees

Tragedy: Belgian event has been cancelled

Rock band the Smith Westerns have told how they ran for their lives as a storm brought down the stage they were playing on in Belgium

From rollingstone.com:

Indiana Stage Collapse Tragedy Was Preventable, Expert Says

Five deaths at Sugarland show trigger call for better "weather-risk mitigation"

After an Indiana State Fair stage collapsed on Saturday, killing five people and injuring more than 40 others, police and fair officials blamed unexpected 60 to 70 mile-per-hour winds that prevented them from taking adequate precautions. "When you're dealing with issues of freak circumstances of weather, I don't know what you can do," says David Bursten, an Indiana State Police first sergeant, who arrived an hour after the tragedy. Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana, told reporters that the accident was a "fluke."

My questions:

1-   Do all people doing staging for outdoor concerts keep a very close eye on the weather, either through the internet or a weather radio of some kind?

2-   Do these same people take the weather reports seriously?

3-   Who should be the decision maker in stopping the show and ordering immediate evacuation to safety?

The people that could be involved in that decision are:

  • A person from the staging company
  • The tour manager
  • The show promoter 
  • The fair’s show producer
  • The fair manager

4-   At what point does one decide that the show must be cancelled/stopped/postpone?

5-   Particularly in Indiana, how could the weather be a fluke? That is an area that does get unusually high winds and tornados! Should they not be keeping their eye out at all times? 

Whether you plan or produce indoor or outdoor events, private or corporate events, risk management is of prime importance. Avoiding tragedy is far more important than anything else.

It is my belief that although high winds, rain, lighting, hail, etc. are not preventable, tragedy may be.