Chicago Band OK After Belgian Stage Collapse

"Smith Westerns" was performing at Pukkelpop Festival when storm came through, brought down structure

The Chicago-based band Smith Westerns was on stage when the structure collapsed around them during a storm as they performed at the Pukkelpop Festival in Hasselt, Belgium on Thursday.

The five members of the band were not injured in the collapse, but published reports indicate that at least 3 people were killed and 70 injured.

"Stage collapsed max almost got crushed by the tress. I hope pukkelpop has insurance bc all our [expletive] is broke," Smith Westerns frontman Cullen Omori said on Twitter, according to

Omori quickly deleted the message when the extent of the damage began to emerge.

"Apologize to anyone who mistook tweet. Wrote direclty [sic] after running off stage. Just found out the extent of damage. All of prays go out," the band wrote.

Paige James, the mother of 20-year-old drummer Hal James, said she was told the band was back in their hotel and "considerably shaken."

"Their equipment was destroyed," she said, but added she was "very, very grateful that our children weren't hurt."

She said she was feeling a great deal of compassion for those who were injured and killed in the accident.

The stage collapse comes less than one week after a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair during a storm, killing five people. 

A little more than a month ago, another stage collapsed during the Ottawa Bluesfest in Ontario while Cheap Trick was performing.

The frequency of the incidents were not lost on James.

"Obviously I'm concerned in general, especially after Indiana.  It all just seems ridiculous," she said.  "Something's going wrong somewhere."

Smith Westerns recently performed during Lollapalooza and were in the midst of a European tour.

Video from YouTube: bvandebroek Belgian Tent Collapse
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