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Indiana State Fair Rep Claims Sugarland Resisted Delaying Their Concert Before Stage Collapse

Ragnar Singsass, Getty Images

As courts decide who’s to blame, who to fine and how to learn from the tragic stage collapse that occurred minutes before Sugarland was scheduled to take the stage at the Indiana State Fair last August, one fair executive claims the band resisted any delay in their show.

The Associated Press reports that transcripts from Indiana State Fair Commission executive director Cindy Hoye reveal Sugarland was twice approached about delaying their show. The duo was worried that any delay would effect how much time Jennifer Nettles had to warm up and set up at the next night’s show.

“They were trying to get to Iowa to play the Iowa State Fair, and so they said they did not want to delay,” Hoye said during a Jan. 16 deposition.

Sugarland’s representatives did not respond to the AP’s request for comment. The band was not amongst the groups found to be at fault by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration. They issued Mid-America Sound Corp. a fine of $63,000 (they build the roof and rigging), the Indiana State Fair Commission $6,300 for not conducting safety evaluations and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 30 $11,500.

Mid-America spokeswoman Myra Borshoff Cook says they released a portion Hoye’s testimony because “we thought it was important for people to see the bigger picture.”

The band is still named named in a number of lawsuits over the incident, which killed seven and injured 58 others. Nettles and Kristian Bush have not discussed the issue very much publicly, but they have said they were taking time off to “contemplate how we want to approach what’s next.”

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