Geez, another storm, another structural collapse on stage! Last month it was the Cheap Trick roof collapse at the Ottawa Blues Fest (my writeup here, with lots of followups and additional info if you haven't seen it lately), and now via Rolling Stone comes video of the Flaming Lips video screen/"UFO" blowing over at the Brady Block Party in Tulsa, OK on Saturday:
I'm pretty sure that the notoriously DIY Flaming Lips, who I've seen live a couple times, own this set, and they were intimately involved in its construction. Live Design had an article on it back in 2007.
Once again, the incident was blamed, according to Scott Booker, the Lips' manager in the Rolling Stone article linked above, on, "unexpected, extreme weather rather than promoter or venue negligence." I know they take severe weather seriously in Oklahoma--I've chased storms there myself, and Norman, OK is the home of the Storm Prediction Center for the entire nation. And I did a bit of digging, and made this NCDC radar archive loop (if I did my calcs right*) of the Tulsa radar around show time (watch full screen for best results):
The festival site is to the left the center of the screen. The black dot at the center of the screen is the location of the radar itself, east of Tulsa near Inola (you can see both points on this map). In the radar loop, you can see a couple indications of strong winds moving across the Tulsa area--those light blue, relatively straight angled lines of stuff in the radar (bugs and dirt, typically) moving north and south of Tulsa look to me like "outflow boundaries" or "gust fronts" moving away from the storm. Those often represent the collapse or movement of a powerful storm which results in high winds coming through.
Wayne Coyne, the Lips' lead singer posted pictures on his twitter feed (click to see larger images on Twitpic):
* Radar loop details: I tried to find the posting times of those twitter photos but they just show now as "August 6". But according to this web site, the Flaming Lips were supposed to go on at 9:35pm. It's obviously still light out, and the sun set at about 8:30 pm local time on that day. According to this time conversion site, 7pm on August 6th in Oklahoma is 00:00 UTC on August 7th. So I started the radar loop there and went forward a few hours.
on 2011-08-09 20:28 by controlgeek
LookAtOKC has more details... It seems that (not surprisingly) my radar loop is a bit late, since it says the festival shut down around 6:30pm...