The country band Sugarland were due to play a show last night at the Indiana State Fair, supported by pop singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. The concert was to take place on a temporary stage erected at the fair ground.
Bareilles had finished her set and organisers were concerned about the weather as a storm was approaching. They advised fans that they could move to other areas but the show would continue. During the gap between Bareilles’ set and Sugarland’s, the stage buckled in the wind and collapsed, killing five fans and injuring many more. Given the violence of the accident and the severity of the injuries of some of those in hospital, the death toll seems likely to increase.
The video contained on this page is absolutely horrifying. You can see fans moving away from the front of the stage towards the covered areas as they were advised. After a few seconds, there is the sound of metal bending and breaking in the wind and in no time at all, the entire stage collapses.
When I first read about this earlier today, I thought ‘stage’ meant the actual floor the bands performed on, but watching the video makes it clear that it is the entire set-up. It’s appalling to watch. I suppose the only small mercy is that Bareilles had finished her set and Sugarland were yet to take the stage, or the death toll would be much higher.