UPDATE – The event grounds for Quiksilver Pro New York Surf and Music Festival were heavily hit by Hurricane Irene forcing the town of Long Beach to pull the plug on – among other events – the eight scheduled days of free music (Matt and Kim, Girl Talk, Interpol, Wavves, Neon Indian, Flaming Lips). The news came right as the Lips discovered that they had just traveled 29 hour, 28 minutes to Shizuoka Japan’s Metamorphose Festival for it to be canceled… due to typhoons.
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The Dave Matthews Band is hosting four music festivals this summer, named “Caravan”; one per month from June through September. By all accounts the first two – in Atlantic City and Chicago – were fun times filled with lively music: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Drive-by Truckers, Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub, Ray Lamontagne, Amos Lee, Soulive, O.A.R., Liz Phair, Ben Folds, Kid Cudi, moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Younder Mountain String Band, The Jayhawks, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Mariachi El Bronx and The Flaming Lips (playing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon in full, interspersed with Wizard of Oz highlights).
The third of these 3-day fests however – scheduled for New York City’s Governor’s Island this weekend – has been reduced to just one day. Bummer. Fans will still get to check out DMB, O.A.R., Citizen Cope and Soulive, but the rest of the schedule (The Roots, Josh Ritter, Gogol Bordello, Trombone Shorty, Bela Fleck, more) has been postponed.
According to dmbcaravan.com: “Ticket holders for Saturday and Sunday are invited to attend the Friday event… at Governors Island… events on Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th have been postponed.” “If a single day ticket for Saturday or Sunday is used for today’s show you WILL be allowed to use it again on the rescheduled date.” “We are diligently working on rescheduling the Saturday and Sunday Governors Island Caravan shows that have been postponed due to the State of Emergency. Ticket holders for the Saturday and Sunday Caravans along with 3 day ticket holders will be notified via email as soon as event details are finalized. Information regarding the rescheduled dates.”
DMB’s Caravan joins a long list of similar cancellations this weekend along the east coast:
- CANT (Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor solo project) was scheduled to make their New York live debut at Mercury Lounge on August 28th (with Blood Orange). This first-come/ first-served free (Spotify-sponsored; all attendees to get a Spotify invite) show is now cancelled (as are all Mercury Lounge shows this weekend).
- Hoboken, NJ’s hMag Music Fest – planned for August 27 with the Walkmen, School of Seven Bells, more – has been postponed.
- Crownsville, MD’s Silopanna Music Festival – planned for August 27 with Matt & Kim, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Fitz & the Tantrums, more – has been canceled.
- Daytrotter’s “Barnstormer 5” (Doug Paisley, The Loom, JBM, We Are Augustines, Guards, Des Ark, more) – scheduled to hit Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday – is now cancelled.
- MoMA PS1’s Warm Up 2011 is an outdoor performance series featuring experimental live music/ sound/ performance or DJs every Saturday July 2nd through September 3. This week’s – with Sun Araw, Tanlines, Nguzunguzu, Teengirl Fantasy, and Physical Therapy – is canceled (but some of the performers may be rescheduled on Sept 10th.
- “BrooklynVegan and Klaus Kinski present Ted Leo, Doug Gillard, Broadcaster, and Dave Hill” at the Rock Shop on Saturday August 27th is cancelled.
- Saturday and Sunday’s Afro-pop Festival in Brooklyn (Cee-lo Green, Santigold, Das Rascist, Toro y Moi, many more) has been canceled (or possibly postponed).
- Saturday’s Michael Jackson party at Irving Plaza – scheduled to be DJed by Q-Tip – has been postponed (but an early celebration for MJ at Prospect park is still on that morning until 2PM).
- The Rib Rock Festivals (B.B. King) scheduled for Saturday at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and Sundayfor PNC Bank Arts Center have been canceled
- The City of New York has rescinded all event permits for Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th
- All New York City park facilities will close Saturday, August 27 at 2 p.m (re-open Monday). The city has issued an evacution zone map.
- “Come on Irene” jokes are the order of the day…
The above listed cancellations follow four major stage collapses in the last six weeks that have collectively taken 12 lives and injured hundreds: Ottawa Bluesfest on July 17th during Cheap Trick’s set, Tulsa’s Brady Block Party on August 6th prior The Flaming Lips’ set, Indiana State Fair on August 13th prior Sugarland’s set and Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium) on August 18th during the Smith Westerns’ set. Apparently Mother Nature is not a fan of live music.
Billboard “The company that constructed the stage that crumpled during Cheap Trick’s performance Ottawa Bluesfest is on the record as attributing the collapse to sudden high winds…Nine days earlier at the Bluesfest, the Black Keys had been involved in an incident over a flapping wind panel on the stage. According to sources, someone with the Black Keys management was worried about the flapping wind panel, but when the stage staff didn’t respond to requests to fix it, he pulled the Black Keys from the stage, forcing the stage technicians to take action before allowing the band to go back on… “The windwall on stage left was not released and had tore,” says a road crew member for one of the bands that played the Bluesfest and is familiar with the earlier incident involving the Black Keys.
“…The wind… was about 60 miles an hour, for over an hour and the stage crew did nothing about it. That probably put a strain on the stage’s structure…About 30 seconds before the roof collapsed, when the heavy winds suddenly headed for the stage, Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander saw the storm and shouted into his microphone, warning the audience to run away from the stage. While the audience was responding to his warnings, the stage roof blew up into the air, and when it came down it collapsed the stage walls causing the entire stage to pancake, says one witness…
The band members and others on the stage would have all been crushed if not for two 10-foot generators on either side of the stage, and the Cheap Trick tractor trailer truck parked right behind the stage that stopped the roof from falling all the way to the ground… Moreover, the band is also lucky that the company running the sound system decided to power down the generators, in anticipation of the sudden storm…A day after the event, Cheap Trick manager Dave Frey said in an e-mail, “All the band’s gear was crushed, soaked by rain, the truck was crushed and personal things abandoned in the evacuation.”
artsbeat.blogs.nytimes “Marc Messier, a spokesman for the Ottawa Fire Services, told The A.P. that a 49-year-old man was in serious condition with abdominal, pelvic and leg injuries, another person had a spinal injury and a third person had experienced chest pains. At least eight more people received treatment at the scene for minor injuries and anxiety.”
The Flaming Lips were setting-up to headline Tulsa’s Brady Block Party on Saturday, August 6th – the final of three consecutive shows with Primus. The temperature was high, but so were people’s’ moods. The forecast called for light fun and heavy tuneage. Then a sudden storm ripped through the festival grounds, knocking down the stage and tumbling the Lips’ 15 foot, semi-circle video screen. Though $800,000 worth of equipment damage was reported, amazingly the only injury was a minor cut to one person’s hand.
Wayne Coyne to NewsOK.com “The Oklahoma wind and rain was a little bit more unpredictable than we had hoped, and we had a bad gust. The whole thing is shambolic and a bit dangerous and we’re working to get as much off of the stage before we get hit with the second wave.”
rollingstone.com “It had been 100 degrees all day when the Flaming Lips prepared to take the stage Sunday [correction: it was a Saturday] evening at Tulsa’s Brady Block Party in their home state. When the sun abruptly gave way to rain torrents, and winds pummeled the stage at 70 to 80 miles per hour, the band and its roadies immediately cut off the electricity. A tarp blew off the top of the stage, and bassist Michael Ivins, like everybody else, began to cover his amplifier. Suddenly, the band’s 15-foot video screen toppled over the back of the stage, prompting gasps from the audience and pushing Ivins to leap out of the way to avoid a catastrophic injury.
“We were all on stage thinking, ‘What are we actually going to do, here?’ It was just pouring down rain,” Ivins told Rolling Stone this morning by phone from Oklahoma City. “Then the screen started moving. There wasn’t a lot of space between the screen and an eight-foot drop. I basically had to leap over one of the legs [of the screen] to get out of the way. It was definitely pretty crazy.”
Michael Ivins to NewsOK.com “I was more concerned that I survived“.
rollingstone.com “Nobody was hurt in the accident, which Ivins and Scott Booker, the band’s manager, blamed on unexpected, extreme weather rather than promoter or venue negligence. But it was only the latest in a recent stream of disturbing incidents involving collapsed stages or equipment at outdoor shows. Safety inspectors in Canada filed charges on July 29th against companies who ran 2009’s Big Valley Jamboree festival in Alberta, Canada, where 35-year-old Donna Moore was crushed to death and 75 others were injured from falling scaffolding during an intense storm. On July 17th, during Cheap Trick’s performance at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest in Canada, winds whipped up so quickly that the roof fell on the stage, narrowly missing injuries to members of the band and thousands of people in the crowd.
Ivins, the Flaming Lips’ bassist, said the Tulsa video-screen collapse was unpreventable. “It was a freak thing that happened,” he said, adding that the Lips are working on repairing the rolling video screen for their next festival gig, in Somerset, Wisconsin, in about two weeks. “Maybe the stage could’ve been facing a different direction. We could have tied the screen down, but it would probably have taken the whole stage down. We try to take as many precautions as we can, all the time. It’s just sometimes there’s stuff out of your control. You just never know what’s going to happen.”
One week after the Flaming Lips escaped tragedy in Tulsa, similar strong winds crumbled the stage at the Indiana State Fair. Sara Bareilles’ sunny set ended with dark skies, and just before headliners Sugarland were scheduled to start the stage collapsed.
The Sara Barelilles/ Sugarland tour canceled their next show at the Iowa State Fair, but resumed – ironically – in Tulsa two night later.
Belgium’s Pukkelpop festival cancelled after a sudden storm caused the stage to collapse during the Smith Western’s set. Many music fans initially learned of the tragedy from Cullen Omori/ Smith Westerns’ tweets: first (now deleted) “Stage collapsed max almost got crushed by the trees. I hope pukkelpop has insurance bc all our shit is broke“, then another tweet to “Apologize to anyone who mistook tweet. Wrote direclty after running off stage. Just found out the extent of damage. All of prays go out To those hurt.”
Omori explained in an official Smith Westerns statement after the event, “We had just finished the first song of our set at Pukkelpop when the stage/tent started shaking and simply thought it was a storm passing through. I made a comment about Cheap Trick and we were about to play the next one when our tour manager yelled at me to run off the stage. Right then the tress collapsed one foot in front of Max. At this point we thought only the stage broke, not the tent. Amid the chaos it was hard to tell exactly what had happened, but after the rescue teams started coming in it became clear that there were severe injuries and we are now being told there are reports of multiple deaths. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in today’s tragedy.”