Ten years ago, Bob Rager was behind the console when Great White took the stage at The Station, a West Warwick, R.I., club. Minutes into the show, the band’s pyrotechnics ignited the flammable packing foam the club used for soundproofing. A hundred people were killed.

There is a good interview with Rager in an online Ohio “newspaper” called TribToday.com. He is back behind the board doing local gigs in Ohio after suffering second- and third-degree burns over a third of his body and being in hospitals or under home nursing care for the better part of a year after the fire.

It’s a good reminder. In hindsight, it should have been the first warning shot to those of us in the live production industry that some people were not putting enough emphasis on safety. While we have covered various staging disasters as they happened here at SPLNetwork.com, we have struggled trying to come up with a way to be more proactive and a “part of the solution.

To that end, we are starting a regular “safety blog” that will feature a revolving chorus of industry voices including people who make staging gear and a number of people who have been involved with the efforts of the Event Safety Alliance. We are working out the first submissions nw and expect to start running stuff regularly in the next few weeks. Stay tuned. 

In the meantime, make sure to go to the ESA website, register and download the Event Safety Guide. The ESA is soliciting peer review of the document now.