Elton John Forced to Cut Concert Short Due to Safety Risk
Elton John's concert in the English seaside resort town of Blackpool was cut short yesterday (June 16) due to safety concerns. Two hours into his concert at the Blackpool Tower Headland -- the first ever at the new outdoor arena -- he was informed by police that the strong winds could pose a threat to the stage. The audience evacuated and no one was hurt.
"I have been told there is some really bad weather on the way," John told the crowd. "The police say you need to leave right now in an orderly fashion. I'm sorry but I don't want anyone to be hurt. I'll make it up to you."
The safety of stages at outdoor concerts has become an issue recently. Radiohead were forced to cancel their concert in Toronto yesterday when, hours before their show, a technician was killed following a stage collapse. ZZ Top canceled a show in Alabama after they raised issues with the stage, and a stage collapsed during Cheap Trick's concert in Ottawa, sending several people to the hospital. Most tragically was when seven people were killed last August at the Indiana State Fairgrounds before a concert by Sugarland when high winds caused the stage to collapse.
Soul legend Curtis Mayfield was left paralyzed when a lighting rig fell on him during a 1990 performance in Brooklyn. Mayfield died in 1999.