Kaleb Freitas died after a stage collapsed on him mid-performance in Brazil at Atmosphere Festival and at least three other people sustained injures in this accident. Officials haven’t officially confirmed the number of injuries to the public.
DJ Kaleb was playing on the O Santuário Stage when gale-force winds brought the scaffolding and lights crashing down. He sustained severe head injuries from the falling debris and was pronounced DOA at the hospital. Many videos have been released of the stage collapsing, showing what a horrifying experience it was for staff and attendees alike.
Sergio Bandoca, one of the bosses at the exhibition where the festival took place, weighed in on the incident, stating that “it was madness. The scale of the tragedy could have been far worse.”
Atmosphere Festival released a statement in Portuguese on their Facebook page about the accident:
“We always cherish the security of our audience, following all the processes, reports and authorizations requested by the local authorities. To our audience: we will keep them informed of all our actions to keep the truth about the facts that have occurred. We’re sorry. We lost a friend, an artist. Our priority is to assist the wounded and their families. We thank the military brigade and the fire department for all assistance.”
The festival organizers have blamed the accident on poor weather conditions. However, public officials say that the weather that day called for ‘gale force winds and a torrential downpour’ and they went on to say that the event shouldn’t have gone through. Hopefully, the investigation that is currently underway will shed some light on what happened.
This isn’t the first time an investigation has been called for an accident like this. Pukkelpop Music Festival in Belgium was hit by a storm so severe that the grounds weren’t recognizable mere moments after it struck. Five people succumbed to injuries and several people were severely injured. This led to the festival organizers making a public statement and closing the event early.
Another accident took place in Toronto, Canada in 2012. Radiohead drum technician Scott Johnson was killed when the stage collapsed before a sold-out show. Live Nation, Optexing Staging & Services and Domenic Cugliari were initially brought up on a total of 13 charges of neglect. Unfortunately, all 13 charges were dismissed because the trial was not set within a reasonable time, thus depriving the defendants of their rights. This year, the Ontario Coroner’s Office has announced that they’re holding an inquest into Johnson’s death.
An inquest certainly seems like a step in the right direction. After all, if we (the public) can learn anything about the mistakes made, we can prevent these accidents from happening again.
That begs the question of who should be held accountable for ensuring that these accidents don’t occur anymore? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.