“The massive stage that collapsed during a violent windstorm during Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 was poorly constructed and violated several Ontario Health and Safety laws and building regulations, according to a long-awaited provincial labour ministry report.”

So reads a news story published on Sunday, Nov 18 byt the Ottawa Citizen newspaper detailing finding of a govt panel investigating the collapse of the stage at the ottawa BluesFest last summer.

You can read the entire story HERE.


Both reports note that the violent storm that hit the stage a week before the collapse, just before a performance by the band Black Keys, was a crucial factor in what happened later. During that first storm, stage staff released pressure on the stage by cutting easily removed zip-ties or Bungee straps.

“When the walls were secured after this event,” writes safety inspector Gordon, “they were secured using a different method, including the use of cable ties. This caused a change in the procedure for release of the wind walls (no longer able to cut with knives). Witness statements indicate that ‘wind walls’ were unable to be released as the stage hands were unable to cut or release the cable ties.

A reminder of what the storm looked like…