The country music community--from fans to superstars--was united in shock on Sunday morning, following Saturday night's weather-related stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair just prior to Sugarland's scheduled set.
The event stage--on which opener Sara Bareilles had just finished her set--abruptly crashed to the ground when a massive burst of wind from an approaching storm hit it. At least five people are reported dead, and many more injured, including several children and a 17-year-old boy who may never walk again.
Virtually every country star with a Twitter account offered prayers and thoughts to those affected by the tragedy. Nashville record labels, country radio stations and fansites, and the Grand Ole Opry all extended sympathy as well.
Keith Urban tweeted that he was "absolutely in shock," while Julianne Hough said she felt "so sick." Reba McEntire noted, "What happened in Indianapolis tonight is what promoters, artists, crews and fans pray never happens."
Even Blake Shelton--known for being Twitter's biggest country jokester--was somber, stating "Absolutely shocking and hard to comprehend... Beyond belief...The more I see and learn about this the sicker I am... Storms and high winds!!! When will we learn?"
Shelton's comment was especially apt, as this is the third time there's been a stage-related incident this summer. Last month at the Ottawa Bluesfest, Cheap Trick and the Court Yard Hounds watched as the stage collapsed before their eyes. Earlier this month, rock band the Flaming Lips were forced to cancel their show when a storm brought down a lighting rig.
Sugarland themselves released the following statement on their official site: "We are all right after our stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair tonight. Many of our fans and friends in Indianapolis may not be. Please keep them in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever form of strength you are able to send. They need you. Thank you."
Those seeking information about friends or family members possibly affected by the incident can call the American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis at 317-684-4305.
The Indiana State Fair will be closed on Sunday. Sugarland's scheduled appearance at the Iowa State Fair Sunday has been canceled. Ticketholders for the event are instructed to hold on to their passes in case the show is rescheduled.
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