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Cheap Trick Demand Explanation for Near-Fatal Stage Collapse

The band 'is dedicated to ensuring that proper safety measures are taken at future concerts'

August 1, 2011 5:25 PM ET
 Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick perform on stage during day two of Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick perform on stage during day two of Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
Jordi Vidal

Cheap Trick narrowly escaped death last month when the stage collapsed during their set at the Ottawa Bluesfest in Ontario, Canada. "It just blew everything back, cymbals are flying and everything," Cheap Trick manager Dave Frey told Rolling Stone. "And we're just like 'get off the stage!' and then I heard the rivets in the truss just starting to pop. BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP! It was like the Titanic or something, and it just started coming down, the roof fell. It hit our truck, which was parked behind the stage and that kept it about five feet off of the deck, and that gave us room to run. We were running as fast as we could."

The band has now released a statement about the incident:

On July 17, 2011 Cheap Trick and its crew, along with other stage personnel, narrowly averted death when the MNBA Stage roof at the 2011 Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest fell on the stage during their evening performance. Several thousand fans were also lucky to escape basically unharmed. 

 While honored by the concern and support expressed for their well-being, Cheap Trick is as interested in ensuring that no other band or crew experience the same potentially lethal hazard. 

"We simply want to know: what are the companies and organizers doing to protect the next act and the next audience?" says band manager Dave Frey. "Every act and every fan ought to be asking the same question when attending an outside musical event."

While weather likely contributed to the incident, Cheap Trick notes that the multi-ton stage roof that fell on everyone on the stage must be properly explained, especially when nearby tents and other temporary structures stood untouched. "Was it a design flaw? Was it an implementation mistake? These are important questions that must be answered," Frey added. 

The incident is now under independent and Ontario government investigation. Cheap Trick is actively participating in those efforts and urges all parties involved to do the same. 

Cheap Trick plans to continue pressing for a full accounting of what happened and is dedicated to ensuring that proper safety measures are taken at future concerts.

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