I really thought after the string of disasters a couple years ago (which I wrote about a lot) people would have learned, but, apparently not. This happened yesterday at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, west of Charlotte, North Carolina:
The photo is from the Facebook page of Christian band "The Afters" , which says, "Scary moment today. The stage collapsed as we were sound checking. Thankful to God that we are all ok!" In this TV report, a member of the band says, "“This storm suddenly came in...” This storm most certainly did not "suddenly" generate. I could go dig out the radar archive, but there's really no point--just look at that sky. I wrote a whole article about weather resources for show crews (you can download a PDF here), which talks about a variety of ways to increase your weather awareness so that you won't be taken "by surprise". And, any experienced stage tech looks at this photo immediately grimaces--the stage roof is clearly not suited for outdoor shows. You can now download the PLASA stage roof standard for free here.
Sigh.... I'm glad no one was hurt, but in this day and age the fact that that a stage roof this substandard was erected outside--and that anyone was anywhere near it with an approaching thunderstorm--is inexcusable.
UPDATE 11:22am 8/11: I wrote up much more here.