Fox 59 News' Jake Miller has video taken at the Indiana State Fair grandstand just four minutes before the wind gusts toppled the stage rigging that killed five persons and injured more than 40 others waiting for the start of Sugarland's concert. The announcer tells the audience Sugarland will take the stage in just two minutes as the camera recording his words pans to the northwest to show the ominous dark clouds approaching the state fairgrounds. Of course, Sugarland never stepped foot on the stage and most persons remained in their seats in anticipation of the concert's start, nothwithstanding the visibly approaching storm.
UPDATE: It looks like the stage rigging for Illinois' state fair grandstand stage does something Indiana's stage rigging does not do. Follow this link here and you will see how their covered canopy can be lowered when the winds are too high. Indeed, that's exactly what Illinois State Fair officials did last Saturday afternoon before the severe storms rolled into Indianapolis. This story in the Springfield Journal-Register discusses the precautions Illinois State Fair officials took:
The overhead rigging at the Illinois State Fair Grandstand stage can be lowered during times of inclement weather.
Saturday afternoon, for example, the rigging was lowered when the fair received a report that a storm was heading toward Springfield that had the potential for 60 mph winds.
Fair officials also shut down the carnival and told people over the public address system to seek cover in a building.
“When we heard there was a potential for 60 mph winds, we didn’t take any chances. We closed everything down,” Bliefnick said.
The fairgrounds only saw rainfall when the storm passed. . .
Clay Campbell, president of Triangle Talent, the booking and production agent for the fair, said that, in addition to being able to lower the rigging, employees keep a close eye on how much weight the acts propose to hang from the rigging.
“The guide wires are checked every day, and the feet of the tower are checked every day,” Campbell said.
Like Saxe, Beason resident Darwin Rademaker said the Indiana tragedy won’t deter him from attending shows at the Illinois State Fair.
“It was areak thing,” Rademaker said. “A storm brewed up, and, unfortunately, what happened happened. I don’t see anything like that happening here.”