Like many of you, I migrated from performing to being a stage tech at least partly because I realized that most musicians could barely find their way to the gig, and thus there were real opportunities in migrating from playing to producing. It is a decision I never regretted. In the process, it became easier and easier to dismiss the real concerns of performers when they strayed beyond the discussion of their art.
I had written several articles about stage collapses this summer and had been one of many in the production community who called for a re-examination of the standards applied to temporary stage structures.
I only realized recently that one very important part of the impacted community had not really spoken up. This was because Cheap Trick guitarist and manager Dave Frey visited Congress to lobby for increased regulations on temporary stages.
As you may remember, Cheap Trick was set to perform on the stage that collapsed at the Ottowa Blues Fest on July 17. Obvioiusly, these two have a unique experience in this area and speak with a voice that needs to be heard.
Nothing would bring about changes in this critical area more quickly than to have performers refuse to play in structures that did not meet strict codes and undergo thorough inspection.
A contract that specifies “no brown M&M’s” in the dressing room but says nothing about the safety of the stage is over due to be re-written.
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