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Condolances to Sugarland, Indiana

Jeffrey Remz  |  August 14, 2011

Condolences go to the victims who were at the Indiana State Fair Saturday night in anticipation of seeing Sugarland. Tragically, a huge gust of wind came up during a weather watch, and the entire rigging blew over, killing five people as of this morning (Sunday).

PLEASE NOTE: The video can be upsetting.

Watching the video was quite eerie as anyone seeing the stage topple over must have imagined the fear that pervaded the fairgrounds. Last month, I attended a concert by Ray LaMontagne, Brandi Carlile and the Secret Sisters at the Bank of America pavilion in Boston. We sat under a tent with thunder, lighting and rain abounding. In some sense, it was a pretty sight seeing the lightning in the distance, but the pangs also made you just a tad fearful. Fortunately, nothing worse happened than the concert starting a good half-hour late.

But such was not the fate, of course, of those at the Sugarland show. Sara Bareilles, the opening act, had finished her set with about a 30-minute gap in between sets. An announcement came over the PA system alerting attendees of bad weather coming around, but the huge gusts of wind came about 30 minutes earlier than expected, felling the steel rigging, which spilled into the ground.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, whose wife and daughter were at the show, called the tragedy "freakish." We can safely assume Sugarland and its crew did its utmost to properly install the staging and equipment needed to put the show on. Daniels praised Hoosiers both public and private citizens for their efforts of responding to the accident.

On its web site, Sugarland wrote, "We are alright after our stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair tonight. Many of our fans and friends in Indianapolis may not be. Please keep them in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever form of strength you are able to send. They need you. Thank you." Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles must be thinking "if not for the grace of God..."

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, Indiana and Sugarland.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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