Barricade Collapses at Bumbershoot Music Festival, Injures Over Two Dozen People

By Shelbi Malonson

Panic erupted Saturday night after a stage barricade collapsed during an international music and arts festival in Seattle, Washington. 

The 4-foot-high steel barricade crumbled after many of the concert’s 3,000 fans pushed against it too hard in an attempt to get closer to the stage, according to the Seattle Fire Department. The incident occurred in front of the Fisher Green Stage, before 10 p.m.

There were 25 people evaluated for non-serious injuries, Officials added. Four attendees were transported to local hospital Harborview Medical Center in reportedly stable condition, Seattle Fire Department spokesman David Cuerpo revealed in a briefing with reporters at Seattle Center.

According to the event’s website, the annual festival – called the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival, was held at the Seattle Center, and is one of Seattle’s largest cultural touchstones. The first iteration was held in 1971, with it’s telltale name selected as both a nod to Seattle’s most famous weather pattern, and as a symbol to the event’s mission: to serve as an umbrella for the arts. Every year, Bumbershoot hosts a variety of artistic performance outlets, showcasing the best of comedy, dance, film, literary arts, music, performing arts, theatre, visual arts and more.

At the time of the accident, New York-based artist and electronic music producer Sajeeb Saha, known by his stage name Jai Wolf, was in the middle of a performance. He is best known for his singles, “Indian Summer”, “Like It’s Over”, and “Starlight.” 

Following the injuries, Wolf canceled his performance and rescheduled for Sunday night.

“I’m so stoked to be back in Seattle but safety is our primary concern and we wanted to make sure that no one would be in any danger,” he said in a statement.

He added that fans should be mindful of their surroundings and look out for one another.

Bumbershoot officials announced in a prepared statement that they are “monitoring the situation.” They continued to say that updates would be released as more information becomes available to them. 

Despite the excitement surrounding summer music festivals, this kind of freak accident isn’t uncommon during the hugely popular spectacles.  Last year, during the Life is Beautiful Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, a video captured a performance firework as it accidentally exploded into the crowd.

Odesza, an American electronic music duo from Bellingham, Washington, was close to finishing its set when it launched a massive firework display and one of the fireworks was sent directly into the crowd.

Two people were injured, one of them hit in the stomach and one in the eye, law enforcement sources told TMZ. Attendees said one of those injured was a female.

The explosion was caused when one of the pyrotechnic units fell over due to a firework malfunction, causing the firework to shoot out, the sources said.

Videos posted on social media websites showed the vantage point of those in the crowd when the firework came blasting at them.

“I was having a great time until a rogue firework literally exploded in front of our faces—is anyone going to accept responsibility?” wrote one user.

“Dude, one of the fireworks went into the crowd during Odesza’s set. That [expletive] was terrifying, I hope the people that were in that area are okay. Straight up. #lifeisbeautiful,” added another.

While other Twitter users expressed concern for those in the crowd that suffered a direct collision with the rogue firework.

Odesza was one of the last bands to play the weekend, which featured the likes of The Weeknd, Travis Scott, and Arcade Fire.