Tonight's edition of the dance night Manic Monday has become a benefit for the family of Nathan Byrd, a victim of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, according to event organizers A-Squared Industries. The 52-year-old Byrd was perched in the rigging of the stage, preparing to operate the spotlight, when it collapsed Saturday.
The benefit was organized by Andy and Annie Skinner, together known as A-Squared Industries, as well as Jamie Fahrner, an educator working with one of Byrd's children. Butler Scion, already a sponsor for Manic Monday, will make a direct donation to Byrd's family during the benefit.
Andy Skinner said the following about the event via e-mail: "It's a sad day, but it is interesting how closely aligned the entire music community of Indianapolis really is...We can all take some comfort in the fact we are not alone and we can rely on our community to support each other in times of tragedy." Andy Skinner notes that he and his wife, Annie Skinner, began sharing condolences with Byrd's family upon hearing the news of their deaths, and that the event emerged out of an idea by Fahrner to raise money for back-to-school shopping for Byrd's family.
Cover for Manic Monday, an '80s-themed night at Rock Lobster, is $3, with the event getting underway at 10:30 p.m. Action Jackson and A-Squared are scheduled to DJ, with special guest A-Rad.
Fair officials will announce this afternoon if concerts scheduled this week for the Indiana State Fair Grandstand will be held as planned. Janet Jackson's performance is slated for Wednesday, Aug. 17, with concerts by Lady Antebellum and Train following through the week. The Fair reopened today following a 9 a.m. memorial service for the victims of the stage collapse. Look for coverage of the service later today on nuvo.net.
Media coverage of the collapse is finding a balance between obituaries for the victims and questions of if the collapse could have been avoided or its impact lessened. Both Sunday's Wall Street Journal article and a piece in today's Indianapolis Star question why an explicit evacuation wasn't ordered earlier in the evening. The Star's piece points to the fact that attendees of Conner Prairie's Symphony on the Prairie event the same night were ordered to their cars well in advance of the storm. Meanwhile, lessons might be learned from reporting on a recent stage collapse in Ottawa that nearly killed the band Cheap Trick. Reports in The Globe and Mail and Billboard address a variety of issues involved in that accident, including whether or not organizers and engineers properly took into account the possibility of high winds and microbursts, given the volatile weather of the region.