Ottawa Bluesfest Cleared in 2011 Cheap Trick Concert Stage Collapse Probe

Fest organizers welcome a media report indicating a freak weather event caused the July 2011 mishap after no "structural issues" were uncovered by government investigators.

TORONTO -- Organizers of the Ottawa Bluesfest have welcomed media reports that the main stage collapse during a Cheap Trick concert at its July 2011 edition was caused by a freak weather event.

“While we have no direct knowledge of the findings reported by the [Ottawa] Citizen, we are pleased to hear reports that the Ministry of Labor has apparently determined that neither Bluesfest nor any of its suppliers are responsible for the stage collapse last year,” Mark Monahan, executive director of Bluesfest, said in a statement.

Monahan was responding to a July 6 report in the newspaper that quoted a Ministry of Labor spokesman saying no “structural issues” were found to have caused the concert mishap.

“The assumption is that it was due to a severe weather event -- something that is very difficult to predict,” the ministry spokesman told the local newspaper.

Despite that unpredictability, the Ottawa Bluesfest has hired an engineer to inspect all concert stage structures at this year's festival, which runs through July 15. And a meteorological service is closely monitoring the weather.

Gale-force winds caused the main stage to sway and ultimately collapse during the July 17, 2011, Ottawa Bluesfest concert while the band Cheap Trick was performing.

Members of Cheap Trick escaped unhurt, but one man onstage was hospitalized after being hit by an object.