High wire fall involving Nik Wallenda

What Rigger?

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ruinexplorer

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That sucks. Glad no one died.
 

Amiers

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Circus is having a rough time lately.
 

StradivariusBone

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Those wire walking guys and gals are nuts. They have my utmost respect for mixing art and danger in such a remarkable format. Glad no one was killed, but hope for speedy recovery for all. There's a great documentary about Phillpe Petit, the guy who walked between the Twin Towers that really illuminated the artform for me. These guys don't live unless they're on that wire. It's amazing to hear them speak about it, it's got to be hardcoded in their genes or something. I think that documentary is Netflix for anyone interested.
 

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
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Those wire walking guys and gals are nuts. They have my utmost respect for mixing art and danger in such a remarkable format. Glad no one was killed, but hope for speedy recovery for all. There's a great documentary about Phillpe Petit, the guy who walked between the Twin Towers that really illuminated the artform for me. These guys don't live unless they're on that wire. It's amazing to hear them speak about it, it's got to be hardcoded in their genes or something. I think that documentary is Netflix for anyone interested.
Bone, you're talking about "Man On Wire" (watch it all the way to the end to see where the title comes from) and it is excellent. Seriously, everybody needs to watch it- it'll float yer boat whether looking at it from a rigging standpoint, performance standpoint, UrbEx standpoint, etc...
To further blow your mind, here's Petit talking with NDT about the physics of high wires. https://www.startalkradio.net/show/science-high-wire-stunts-philippe-petit/
 

MikeJ

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Too bad high wire walking is really boring. It's a lot of risk to take for something so lame. Lookup Slacklining and high lining; it's basically a modern non-lame version of the old school tightrope.
 

egilson1

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Bone, you're talking about "Man On Wire" (watch it all the way to the end to see where the title comes from) and it is excellent. Seriously, everybody needs to watch it- it'll float yer boat whether looking at it from a rigging standpoint, performance standpoint, UrbEx standpoint, etc...
To further blow your mind, here's Petit talking with NDT about the physics of high wires. https://www.startalkradio.net/show/science-high-wire-stunts-philippe-petit/
Great, there goes the next 2.5 hours of my night. Then again I'm still "sleeping" upright in a chair at night so I've got the time.
 

Amiers

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So the guy who fell only broke a few toes and did the act last night.

Circus people are crazy let me tell ya what.
 

StradivariusBone

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Bone, you're talking about "Man On Wire" (watch it all the way to the end to see where the title comes from) and it is excellent. Seriously, everybody needs to watch it- it'll float yer boat whether looking at it from a rigging standpoint, performance standpoint, UrbEx standpoint, etc...
To further blow your mind, here's Petit talking with NDT about the physics of high wires. https://www.startalkradio.net/show/science-high-wire-stunts-philippe-petit/
Yup! That's the one. Petit is unreal. I wish one day to be as passionate about anything as much as he is about his craft.
 

lwinters630

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Safety lesson that I get from this:

Nik Wallenda can fall! Growing up in a family that knows the risks, professionally committed, has the best gear available (and invents new) he still falls. Don't try to tell me it never happens!
In an interview in St. Charles IL. in 2014 Nik said they practice on how to fall and grab on the wire. His teams are well trained for each event on rescues in a short amount of time.
 

Amiers

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Except he didn't grab the wire.
 

MNicolai

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Turns out this is actually just a couple blocks down from my office so I picked up a ticket to see the show Wednesday night.
 
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soundman

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Nik is a showman through and through. I watched him do the 7 for a whole season with the same circus a few years ago. Even though I knew some of the hype and drama was staged it was hard to watch some nights because he sold it so well. This is a startling reminder that not all the drama was part of the act.
 

Amiers

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Turns out this is actually just a couple blocks down from my office so I picked up a ticket to see the show Wednesday night.
There is a lot in Sarasota if you got the time. It's pretty much where all the circus folk live.
 

MNicolai

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Saw the show tonight. An absolutely spectacular production all-around. My first thought when they started getting on the wire and building their pyramid: I can definitely see how this is the kind of act even a group of highly-qualified professional could fall from, and they didn't even perform the part of the act they were working on when they had their accident.

After the performers took their bows, Nik explained what happened with the accident. They were rehearsing to set a world record for an 8-person, 3-layer pyramid. They had been working on it for months in his backyard here in Sarasota, and working on it for awhile in the tent. They had the full pyramid built when the accident happened. They started to lose their balance and when they spilled the pyramid, Nik and 2 others grabbed the wire and hung on. One of his performers landed on their feet and was able to run outside and call his mom. Another one of the guys came down head-first. Through nothing shy of the grace of God, one of the stagehands was situationally aware and spotted them starting to go over. He hopped in the ring and was able to redirect this performer's fall. Their split second reaction is probably the only reason the performer didn't break his neck dropping from the top layer of the pyramid -- a 40' fall. He walked out with just a couple broken bones.

Both of the women up on the wire came down had harder landings. One of them was released from the hospital after 4 days and is beginning recovery/rehab. I believe he said the other was still in the hospital but in good condition.

Nik said the when the paramedics showed up they were fully expecting to have to resuscitate people. Every person taken to the hospital was conscious and aware of what had happened and was going on.

Aside from the obvious reasons it's good that this happened in rehearsal instead of performance -- the Circus Sarasota tent isn't particularly large. They fit a sizable crowd in there and have enough room to run some horses in circles around the perimeter, but the ring is...cozy. Except for the middle section of the high-wire, if a performer or multiple performers fell, their ~16' long balancing poles would go over with them and potentially missile into a swath of audience members. The performer would probably miss the crowd, the seating, and barricades, but the poles are going to swing around and come down anywhere they please.

This is the act they were trying to do an 8-person version of though for the life of me I can't imagine where the 8th person goes:






Here's a shot of the ring and the tent from tonight's show:

 

MNicolai

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Correction!

I saw the show again last night and Nik said they had been attempting a FOUR-layer, eight-person pyramid when the accident happened.

Looks like they're easing back into things. Last night they did a double-bike, 3-person pyramid instead of the non-bike version they did last week.