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Cheap Trick suing Ottawa Bluesfest for 2011 collapsed stage


Cheap Trick is suing the organizers of the Ottawa Bluesfest and the companies responsible for building the stage, sound, and lighting rigs for $1 million in damages, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Back on July 17th, 2011, Cheap Trick was 20 minutes into their set and had left the stage only seconds before a massive storm blew in and caved in the structure. A total of three people were injured -- including the band's bus driver. Cheap Trick's equipment was totaled. The band's corporation, Cheap Trick Touring, Inc. is seeking "$400,000 for damages to their equipment, with the rest going to costs incurred in the aftermath of the incident, including replacement instruments, labor, travel and services."

According to the suit, "the organizers failed to perform the necessary safety obligations, such as checking the weather, testing the strength of the stage and preparing the staff for an emergency." In addition to that is a report filed by the Ontario Ministry of Labour
claiming that, although the stage could handle winds of "up to 74.5 m.p.h.," the operators working for the organizers neglected to remove the wind-walls that "heightened the risk and increased the vulnerability to visitors, including Cheap Trick Touring."

Following other stage disasters in Oklahoma, Indiana, and Belgium, on October 3rd, 2011, guitarist Rick Nielsen and manager Dave Frey appeared before congress in Washington, D.C. to seek a government solution to collapsing temporary stages.

Rick Nielsen feels that the secret to Cheap Trick's longevity is that in an era when bands became so huge so quickly, they were able to retain their fan base while still working regularly: "I think we're a lot of people's fifth favorite band. They might not like everything we do, but they respect the fact of, y'know, the hard work, and, y'know, we've had ups and we've had downs, and guess what -- we keep getting back up."

Cheap Trick North American tour dates (subject to change):

July 12 - Brooklyn, NY - Seaside Summer Concert Series
July 13 - Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion Outdoor Amphitheater
July 18 - Walker, MN - Moondance Jam Moondance Events
July 19 - Waukesha, WI - Waukesha County Fair
July 25 - Eugene, OR - Lane County Fair
July 26 - Great Falls, Montana - Montana State Fair
July 27 - Medicine Hat, AB - Medicine Hat Exhibition
August 3 - Winter Park, CO - Winter Park Hideaway Park
August 20 - Vienna, VA - Filene Center At Wolf Trap (with Pat Benatar)
August 21 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
August 23 - Morristown, NJ - Mayo Performing Arts Center
August 24 - Westbury, NY - NYCB Theatre At Westbury
August 25 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
August 27 - Englewood, NJ - Bergen Performing Arts Center
August 28 - Mashantucket, CT - MGM Grand At Foxwoods
August 31 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival At Ravinia Park
September 11 - Puyallup, WA - Washington State Fair at Western Washington Fairgrounds
September 17 - Durham, NC - Carolina Theatre of Durham
September 21 - Bossier City, LA - Horseshoe Casino

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