May 25, 2018
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Is Bangor’s Waterfront stage safe?

John Clarke Russ | BDN
John Clarke Russ | BDN
Workers with Old Town-based Production Services of Maine started setting up scaffolding Monday, April 18, 2011, for the Waterfront Concert Series in Bangor.
BDN staff reports

In light of the recent tragedy at the Indiana State Fair, in which a large outdoor concert stage collapsed killing five people and injuring many more, Bangor Waterfront concertgoers may be looking for a little reassurance. Could such a scary thing happen at the stage in Bangor, also a temporary structure and similar in size to the one in Indiana?

“We have always had a safety protocol and the company we use is the gold standard for stage construction,” Waterfront Concerts promoter Alex Gray said Tuesday in an email interview.

He noted that Waterfront Concert organizers have been paying attention to the Indiana incident, as well as a major stage collapse that occurred earlier this year in Canada.

“Before each show our staff conducts safety checks of the stage,” Gray said. “Specific evacuation plans for each show are in place and customers are informed through the PA system and the info notice that plays throughout the breaks in the show.”

The Bangor Waterfront Concert stage was constructed in April — 12 days before the first show of the Bangor Waterfront Concert Series season kickoff on April 30 — by a crew of 45 workers from Mountain Productions of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Production Services of Maine; and Labor Ready.

The stage is 60 feet by 60 feet and is 40 feet deep, and is a scaffold design.

“The stage in Indiana was post-type trussing,” Gray wrote. “Scaffold design affords significantly more stability.”

The sound bays or “wings” on the sides of the stage are 28 feet wide and can support 20,000 pounds, and the roof supports 56,000 pounds of equipment, such as speakers and lights.

The stage is rated and designed to withstand 55 mph winds. If the side “wings” are removed along with other staging, it is rated for 70 mph winds, Gray previously told the BDN.

It took approximately 30 workers, two 5,000-pound forklifts and a heavy crane to assemble the stage, which arrived on six tractor-trailer trucks.

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