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Stage collapse and response captured

YouTubers post videos and respond to the collpase of the stage at the Indiana State Fair that killed five and wounded dozens.


Fruzsina Eördögh


Posted on Aug 15, 2011   Updated on Jun 3, 2021, 3:22 am CDT

On Saturday evening, during a Sugarland concert at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, a freakishly strong gust of wind knocked the stage over. Five people died from the collapsed stage, and more than 40 concert-goers were injured.  

On Monday, videos of the Indiana State Fair Collapse dominated the News and Politics page of YouTube, with 21 of the 23 most viewed News & Political videos being of the stage collapse. Spencer Smith’s video of the moment was also the most viewed video on the entire site on Monday, with 1.5 million views.

Other amateur footage, capturing the screaming mob and wreckage, was equally popular, including Jessica Silas’ original video which was featured on the news and viewed more than 2 million times.

The majority of YouTubers expressed sympathy for the concert-goers, either in response videos or in the comments section. Others wondered why the concert wasn’t cancelled once a severe thunder storm warning was issued. Concert goers said there was little warning before the freak storm.

MrGameItUp, who normally makes comedic videos, weighed in with a response video, admitting he has tickets to an upcoming Sugarland concert. “No one would expect something like this, especially with all the safety,” he says. MrGameItUp asked his audience if this incident will keep other concert-goers from attending events, to which mgirl00012 wrote:

“i was there. and seen it all happen. i am never going to go to an outdoor concert again. :(”

djkayspeaks, in another popular response video, calls the collapse an “act of God” and wonders if the company that built the stage would be investigated in coming days. Commenting on djkayspeaks video, maxredbin agreed: “…Seriously though its bad construction which caused this and those responsible are in big trouble…“

As is the case with the Internet, some folks found the whole thing laughable. (One response video is simply a still from the stage collapse, with someone cackling) Many made references to the popular disaster film series “Final Destination.”  

Addressing the jokes, VHJPwnage90 writes “People need to stop talking about Final Destination! SHOW SOME RESPECT!!!! WHAT IF IT WAS ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS WHO DIED OR GOT INJURED YOU WOULDN’T BE MAKING JOKES THEN.”

RottenKnight defended the haters, writing “Nothing wrong with a little schadenfreude, friend. The videos that show the stage collapsing are pretty funny, just look at those poor bastards trying to run away. OH NO THIS STAGE IS FALLING ON ME I MUST FLEE *crunch*”

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*First Published: Aug 15, 2011, 8:44 pm CDT