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Grid Collapses in Atlantic City on Concert Tour

Discussion in 'News' started by wolf825, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    [​IMG]CONCERT NEWS: Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera summer concert tour comes to a crashing halt..and perhaps a premature end, due to the amount of equipment destroyed during a concert set up in Atlantic City today. A recently rennovated 90 million dollar grid structure on the Historic Boardwalk at Atlantic City, that was supporting the system over the stage, came crashing down during set up. Justin and Christina were not present at the time. Fortunately no one on the tour or local crew was hurt or killed, but most of the custom set and stage, and most of the equipment was destroyed.

    Being a good technician on a set up for a concert sometimes means knowing when to RUN...especially when tons of roof start to come crashing down. I'm glad to know that no one was killed.

    Read about this here if you're interested...

    http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/atlantic/081003ACCONCERT.html

    -wolf

    picture from PLSN.com
     
  2. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    So it sounds like there was a structural failure by the super grid that was part of the buildings internal structure and not the fault of the Master Riggers?
     
  3. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Howdy,
    Well here's some more detailed info as I have been reading story's and accounts etc, and hopefully some of this will answer your question. This is what I have gathered so far:
    The supergrid, as I have read, was a structure that was suspended below the architecture cieling. It belonged to the house, not the tour. It was part of a huge rennovation that went on a few years back in the venue. The points for the room are, as I have been reading the scuttlebutt around some of the forums, 175+ feet from the floor(out of the range of most concert chain motors that usually have in the area of 120'-150' of chain)...and the super grid was attached to the points there. But its purpose, as part of the structure, was to be a sorta mid-way-point structural grid, between the house points and the floor, for flying rigs off of. Also as I understand it from reading, a certian well known roof/stage/steel company up north are the folks who put it in years ago, but that even today they get the spec's, loads and tour engineering for all shows that use it for hanging--so as to sign off on, and approve the point ratings and loads that will be hung from it and where the points are. This is done per show--and every concert tour always advances a show with a venue WELL in advance with spec and critical details on this stuff. I believe that they(the rigging company) had approved points for this show and load ratings. Now--whether or not the folks in-house, house riggers, or tour folks followed that--it is under investigation.

    Apparently, from a post I read from a supposed crew person who was there, is that the tour guys were raising key parts of the large set pieces & backline that were to be placed on the deck and that flying them up onto the stage was the fastest way to get the heavy set peces up there..they were simply rasing them to then roll the stage into place and lower them onto the deck. (Since this is a learning forum, and for those who may not know about this--many concert tours use a "rolling stage" platform--its a steel deck/scaffolding portable stage on wheels, that is assembled away from the main area by one half of the local crew, while the rigging/lighting trusses and speakers go up into position with the rest of the crews. This saves a TON of time and allows the stage to be set up at the same time as the lights/video, rigging/speakers etc get done, without waiting around for the stuff that has to fly get done--which can be HOURS. When the lights, sound and fly stuff is done--the stage is rolled into place under the lights/speakers/video etc.). But according to the post I read--the set was being temporarily hoisted up with the grid and lights/truss etc, and they were about 5 minutes or so from rolling the stage under the flown set pieces when the grid gave way.

    So the questions that come to my mind based on that information is "did the set pieces exceed the load rating for that point--or were they & the weight (even tho it was not permanent) even included in the original spec's sent to the rigging company for approval, and also did they use the specified rated points on the grid to raise the set pieces or just rig something quick to toss the set up on the stage? did the set pieces exceed the wieght limits on those temporary points?--and was this just a matter of too much wieght in a given area or space on a grid that caused failure? "

    As I have heard--they are still investigating, and several offices (OSHA etc) and folks are doing a careful study to find out if they can figure out what happened and what failed and why. The equipment is still there and is being studied and documented to try and figure everything out. There is a few pics of the accident scene on the net...and in the pics you can see that the grid caved in the center area and separated, and everything else attached just fell with it. The speaker/line array however were flown on house points above/separate from the grid and most did not fall. Lastly--it is been reported that this same grid had a slippage problem (points slipped or did not hold) about 2 years ago on another show right after the 90 million dollar rennovation in 2000 of the historic space. Interesting to see how this comes out...whether it was the house riggers, the tour staff or the company that installed the grid in the first place...and what exactly caused the failure--if it was a point that started a chain reaction or if the grid failed or if it was overloaded well beyond rating (rating points are usually UNDER rated about 2 times the max weight capacity, for safety. I personally don't trust aluminum for such a large frame supergrid...I have seen them for years and I know they are rated & tested, but steel beaming and grids--that's solid.

    Its good that no one was hurt or killed...only 3 crew with some minor bruises and cuts. But a point about the media was recently made about this pending investigation--since no one was hurt will the press give this much more air-time or reporting about the investigation? In retrospect--if Great White's show hadn't killed anyone, would there have been such a deep investigation? Hmmmm.... Kinda sad the media and folks who regulate, report and inspect stuff like this kinda work that way. "no one was hurt..next case.." Ya gotta love (sarcasm here) the way a few of the papers print the story tho.. "..fortunatly Justin and Christina were not there and were not hurt". Fortunately??? what about the local & tour crew that WAS there?? They don't count for anything????? @$$holes....

    well thats all the updates for now....
    wolf
     
  4. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    First off, great post wolf. Interesting and informative.

    As for:
    In a perfect world it would have read.
    Fortunatly none of the local or tour crew were hurt. Unfortunately Christina and Justin escaped from their bonds and escaped injury free.
    Just kidding.
     
  5. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    hehe..couldn't agree more.

    --wolf
     
  6. Lucinda

    Lucinda Member

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    wow. i have never heard of that happening before. people always ask me at school what the chances are that our grid could fall, but until now i pretty much thought that there was a very slim chance which i still think that there is. i am glad that noone got hurt.
     
  7. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Happens quite a lot. Go to roadie.net, register, and look at some of the pictures.
     
  8. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    This is why stuff needs to be inspected every once in a while. Years of wear and tear can damage equipment. We just had to have our number one line set replaced, after 40+ years of service. One day we started to pull in the house curtatin and it got stuck, and then we could muscle it in. Called in some professional rigging people. They went up there and low and behold the blocks were all shot and warped.
     
  9. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Seeing this post revisited puts the rigging inspection and safety cables/chains posts into perspective.
     
  10. Jemplayer

    Jemplayer Member

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    I thought everything could really support 5x's its load rating so as to absord shock loads? At least I've been told that the slings we use are rated like that.
     
  11. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    Is there any update on the investigation? Just curious as to what was found to be the cause of this tragedy.
     
  12. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    Not at home, that's for sure.
    The cause is simple: someone had bull$hit information, or didn't know the SWL of the building and/or rig.
     
  13. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Here is a link for some photos

    It is like the boston tunnel section falling down, how the structure was designed and how it was built and the quailty of the construction can be totally different

    Sharyn
     

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