New rules in place for stages at Vanderburgh Co. Fair | News
VANDERBURGH CO., IN (WFIE)- New rules are in place after last year's deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, and you can see those changes at the setup for this week's Vanderburgh County Fair.
Those going to the fair for the big concert Wednesday night probably won't notice anything too different, but a fair organizer tells 14 News they have made some significant changes.
The buffer zone. It's a new term around the fairgrounds this year.
"And it moves seating back, instead of having seating up close to the stage. Didn't move it back real far, but it will change a little bit," said Scott Berry, the Fair Vice President of Operations.
That change Berry is talking about is at the lakeside stage. It'll be used for several contests this week, including crowning a new queen.
Because the stage equipment is separate from the stage itself, Berry says the fair felt the easiest way for them to comply with new state regulations was to scoot the crowd back.
"The height of that tower plus 8 feet, so technically if that tower would fall, that creates a buffer completely around it," Berry said.
Berry says that to put a buffer zone in place at the grandstand where country singer Josh Thompson will perform on Wednesday, they would have to move the stage from the north end to the south.
Instead, they decided to rent a stage, which Berry tells 14 News, ate into their $35,000 entertainment budget.
"We did reduce down in our act. By no means is he not popular, he is a popular singer, maybe not exactly what we were after for the year," Berry said.
Last year's stage collapse prompted a few other changes, too.
Berry says the fair now has a written safety action plan in the case of potentially dangerous weather.
He also says stages will undergo a more intense inspection by the State Fire Marshall's Office.
14 News is told safety measures at the fair will likely continue to evolve as time passes by.
If you are interested in going to that Josh Thompson concert, it's set for 8:30 p.m. at the grandstand.
For more fair information, head to the Vanderburgh County 4-H Fair website.
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