HEALTH & SAFETY
Live events industry

Belgian music festival Pukkelpop will go ahead next year, despite the tragedy which struck this year’s event when four people were killed after a stage collapse when a freak storm hit the festival site on the opening day of Pukkelpop 2011. 70 other people were injured as lighting rigs and large screens also fell. Following an investigation by the Hasselt Public Prosecutor, a ‘force majeure’ ruling was put in place, stating that the festival’s organisers could not be held liable for what happened. This means the Festival will not face prosecution, but reportedly will not be able to make a claim against its liability insurance cover – although it turn those wishing to bring a civil law claim against the Festival may face an additional hurdle in proving fault and liability. The Festival will take place between the 16th and 18th August 2012 and customers who had bought a ticket for the cancelled 2011 event will receive free food and drink vouchers, valued at 75 euros and 150 euros respectively which can be used at any of the next three Pukklepop festivals. For damages to items such as lost or broken camping equipment, festivalgoers will be able to file claims with their own insurance company or, if the damage exceeds 250 euros, with the Belgian National Disaster Fund as the Federal Council of Ministers decided to recognize the storm of 18th August as a natural disaster. The Festival has also set up The Support Fund for the Victims of the Pukkelpop Storm’. Donations to the Support Fund are tax deductible and organisers say that all donations will be distributed fairly among the victims. Although Pukkelpop supports the Fund, it functions independently of the Pukkelpop organization. More information about the Support Fund can be found on the Pukkelpop website.
In the aftermath of the tragedy at the Indiana State Fair when again a storm hit the event with fatalities, the state’s attorney general has announced a $5 million fund to benefit victims. However, several families of victims plan to sue organisers, concert promoters and the band Sugarland.

http://www.pukkelpop.be/en/homepage/ and http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/sep/15/sugarland-stage-collapse-lawsuit

See ‘A Climate of Questions’ in IQ magazine Issue 38 November 2011  www.ilmc.com