Cheap Trick files $1M Suit Following 2011 Ottawa Bluesfest Stage Collapse

The festival claims it has yet to see the band's filing over the 2011 incident.

Rockers Cheap Trick have filed a million-dollar suit against the Ottawa Bluesfest stemming from a stage collapse during the band's July 2011 performance.

The band's legal representatives claim that the festival, along with stage company Groupe Berger and Project X Productions, did not notify the band of the potential dangers of performing after high winds ripped the stage's wind walls down on July 8, 2011. The ties used to re-fasten the wind walls to the stage were different from the original ties, and allegedly stagehands were not properly trained in releasing the wind walls. When the band performed on July 17, 2011, high winds caused the stage to collapse and injure three people.

A statement of claim from Cheap Trick Touring, Inc., from July 4 states that the festival did not ensure that the stage followed all guidelines outlined in the Ottawa Building Code, and ultimately put saving money on holding the event over establishing safety for performing acts.

The band claims that $400,000 would be used to get their equipment back into touring shape, meaning a lot of costly repairs and replacements of amplifiers, guitars and drums. The remaining $600,000 would cover what the band's representatives are referring to as "special costs": supplying replacement equipment over the past two years, travel expenses and labor.

Sandy Sanderson, a truck driver for Cheap Trick, is also filing a $100,000 claim against the festival, claiming that a stage fixture injured him while setting up equipment.

On Tuesday, the festival claimed that it had yet to see the official statment of claim, and suggested that the Ontario Ministry of Labor report on the incident be referenced by concerned parties. That report blamed Groupe Berger for the problematic handling of the event but did not suggest any charges be pressed. 

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