Ottawa Bluesfest cut short after stage collapses during severe storm

Ottawa Bluesfest cut short after stage collapses during severe storm

It was the final day of Ottawa Bluesfest on Sunday. Cheap Trick had just finished trudging their way through their eight billionth performance of “I Want You” when we festivalgoers saw a flock of birds above the main stage suddenly lose control of their flight path and were whisked away like garbage. A black cloud was fast approaching, looking like something straight out of a shitty disaster movie and initially treated as such: “Hey, look at that horrifying sky approaching us. Let’s watch what happens.”

Moments later, we were all collectively shitting our pants when that black cloud descended on Bluesfest like a precursor to the apocalypse, whipping fans with 120 km/h winds and littering the festival grounds with flying branches, garbage, beer cups, and Robin Zander’s comically over-sized hat.

We weren’t really panicking, though, until a huge crack was heard near the main stage, and thousands of festival attendees watched their dreams of seeing Death Cab for Cutie literally collapse into a heap of stage material, lights, and corporate sponsorship banners, as the main stage could not bear the force of the winds. Thankfully, the stage collapsed away from the audience. You can see both the collapsed stage above and the video of it happening below.

There are conflicting reports right now, but anywhere from two to five people were injured, including one in critical condition. However, Bluesfest’s official statement is that there were “no serious injuries on site.” Expect my review of the festival soon.

• Ottawa Bluesfest: http://www.ottawabluesfest.ca

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