Indiana fairs, festivals anxiously await stage rigging rules
By Rick Callahan of The Associated Press
Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 7:03 pm
INDIANAPOLIS — Organizers of some of Indiana's county fairs and small festivals are anxiously awaiting new rules governing the type of rigging involved in last summer's deadly State Fair stage collapse.
Details of the proposed temporary rules, which a state commission may vote on next week, have not been released and that's stirring up concern among festival organizers who fear they could face new costs to comply with the regulations, said Gale Gerber, vice president of the Indiana State Festivals Association. He said many of the 450 festivals and fairs held across Indiana each year operate on shoestring budgets and cannot afford new costs.
"A lot of these small festivals have budgets under $2,000 or $3,000 to run their festivals. If these rules bring new expenses, there's no way they can handle that," Gerber said.
The Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission will meet Wednesday to consider the proposed rules, which were prompted by the Aug. 13 collapse of stage rigging that killed seven people and injured dozens before a scheduled Sugarland concert at the State Fair in Indianapolis.
State fair organizers weren't required to have that rigging inspected because it was a temporary structure not covered under Indiana law.