Another Stage Incident – UltraFest in Miami

Yet again news has come through of another stage collapse. This time at the UltraFest being held at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida. The incident was in fact a video wall collapsing down on stage injuring several people. The incident happened at the sound check for what is possibly the largest electronic music festival in the world. The event was to take place over the next 2 weekends and featuring DJing’s biggest names, including Afrojack, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia and more. Rapper Snoop Dogg will also perform.

It seems that a large LED Video wall collapsed on the prompt side of the stage. The screen was about 10metres in the air when it fell. At the moment we do not know if it was human error or equipment failure, but it does make you think. Do we need to re-assess the way we stage productions, are we pushing people and equipment to far. Well hopefully we will again learn more about this incident as it is investigated by OSHA. There are so many factors involved in such an incident that maybe we should not be speculating, even though this is human nature ( I am guilty of it to). Our first thoughts should be going to the injured parties.

The one thing that does come out of all of these incidents is the fact we need to make sure that everybody gets to go home and only feel tired after a good days work. Every time I read about this events, it makes me evaluate the way I work and how it fits into the scheme of things. Are we doing it correctly? Is there a safer way of doing it? Can we substitute something that will still give the same result but be safer for all concerned? Occupational Health and safety is not there to stop you doing something it is there to make you think of doing it safely, minimise the risks. Double check the work, if not sure about something, ask. We need to look after each other. Also we need to take control of the safety aspects of our industry before the government step and totally regulate the industry to the point of not being able to do a thing. I am a believer is safety in a big way, but we can still present spectacular, dazzling events safely. We need to have a say in the safety aspects of our industry as we work in it every day. Many of us have the skills and knowledge to contribute to a safe working environment and there are plenty out there willing to learn it all.

So let us think safe, be safe ,live safe.

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