Wednesday 16 August 2017

Stage collapses at Cheap Trick gig

Emergency crews survey the damage after a stage collapsed at the Ottawa Blues festival while Cheap Trick were performing (AP)
Emergency crews survey the damage after a stage collapsed at the Ottawa Blues festival while Cheap Trick were performing (AP)

The organiser of an Ottawa music festival where the stage collapsed during a sudden storm, sending thousands of fans watching the band Cheap Trick scrambling to safety, has called the accident "a freak situation".

Organisers had been monitoring the weather moments before a violent summer gale toppled the main stage at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, said Mark Monahan, the festival's executive director.

Three people were taken to hospital but later released, Mr Monahan said. The band's truck driver was among the injured.

Some concert-goers said it was a miracle that nobody died in the incident on Sunday night.

"Honestly, what we've been told, it was a very unusual situation. The fact that (the storm) brought that stage down and nothing else came down in the park is just a freak situation," said Mr Monahan.

US rockers Cheap Trick had been playing for about 20 minutes when howling winds and storm suddenly clouds blew in. The band quickly left as the stage began to collapse, sending about 10,000 fans scrambling to make their way to safety.

"Everyone is shaken up but band and crew are all fine," the band, best known for the hits Surrender and I Want You To Want Me, said in a message posted on Facebook. "Cheap Trick hopes that everyone who attended the show is also ok."

Cheap Trick lead singer Robin Zander wrote on Facebook: "Fortunately the band and crew are all lucky to be alive and we'll see you down the road. And all the best to our truck driver Sandy."

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