No major injuries reported as a result of fallen VIP tent at WCMF

Photo of collapsed tent at Windsor Park Stadium on Sunday morning. Photo credit: Nate Media C/o A.E.B International Solutions

No major injuries have been reported in the aftermath of the collapsed VIP tent at the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF). The incident occurred during the early hours of Sunday, around 3:38 am, when an unexpected and heavy tropical-depression level rainfall hit the stage-roof structure named “Tropical Disco,” leading to an emergency evacuation and leaving event-goers understandably shaken.

In a statement issued yesterday,  NeXConneX and Radiance production, the organizers of the PVIP and VIP section revealed that “After receiving patron reports and conducting swift assessments: production crews were notified of pooling water and began responding to various tent-structures around the VIP but, were unable to make it to the ‘Tropical Disco’ tent in time, given the sudden nature of events.”

According to the timeline of events, it appears that the transition from rain shower to tent collapse occurred within mere minutes, the team pointed out.

As stated, members of the primary organising team who were inside the structure during the incident, were the first to respond, followed by patrons helping each other and on-site fire/medic first responders, who quickly arrived due to their close proximity.

In total, sixteen patrons reported to the on-site medical facility for treatment of cuts and bruises, with three individuals being referred to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH)for X-rays and further examination. Fortunately, all were medically cleared and released, “and we are grateful that everyone affected is recovering,” the statement from the organizers said.

As stated, following the incident, production engineering crews and local authorities immediately inspected other structures on-site for safety, and the show was allowed to continue without further incident. On night three of the festival, the team says that they maintained a focus on patron safety and security.

In the statement, NeXConneX + Radiance Productions used the opportunity to  extend their gratitude to all involved, from first responders and production staff to the resilient and understanding patrons.

“This accident was truly unprecedented. We are so grateful that everyone affected is recovering. We have reached out personally to each and everyone one of the affected individuals and we continue to monitor their progress,” they said.

However,  former Chief Physical Planner and engineer Genora Joseph, who was present at the event, shed light on the underlying issues that led to the stage-roof incident. Joseph pointed out on social media that the problem wasn’t merely the roof covering; rather, it was the insufficient support and the lack of proper tension in the membrane that allowed water to sag and pool.

Joseph even tried to warn security personnel under the tent about the imminent collapse, suggesting that the membrane needed to be punctured to allow water to drain. Sadly, these warnings were met with ridicule and dismissive responses, despite Joseph’s credentials as an engineer.

“I pointed out to security under the tent that a collapse was eminent [imminent] if they didn’t puncture the membrane to allow the water to drain,” she stated. “I was ridiculed and told rudely that since I complaining that I should do it myself. I continued to plead with security to get someone to rupture the membrane to drain the water. When I realised that they were more intent on ridiculing me than listening to what I had to say although I told them I was an engineer, I left the tent for my safety.”

It was a mere 20 minutes after her warnings that the tent collapsed. Joseph confronted the security, expressing her belief that the disaster could have been averted had they taken her advice seriously. However, she says that she was met with condescension, with security personnel saying, “you not happy nothing happen to you.”

In hindsight, she says “Engineering was a small part of the problem; ignorance and negligence were the main causes of that unfortunate event.”

Several other witnesses present during the incident informed Dominica News Online that they were deeply rattled and remained on edge throughout the rest of the evening, concerned that a similar incident might occur again.

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  1. If we knew better
    November 6, 2023

    I was under the tent when it came down. 10 minutes before it happened we were talking about it saying those pools of water must fall on somebody’s head. There were 6 pools, 3 on each side, each with at least 10 gallons and growing.

    Regarding the rude dismissive responses from the security, this is a typical example of the attitude of Dominicans. Nothing is taken seriously, no one wants to take responsibility or accountability, everyone sits aside to laugh and watch, things are done haphazardly with little regard for safety, common sense and voices of reason are met with ignorance and ridicule. Hence, why like this tent, the country on a whole is on a side.

    Apart from that, life continues in the commonwealth.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  2. Zandoli
    November 2, 2023

    The injured people should sue their backsides for negligence.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  3. Sunburst
    November 2, 2023

    This was just a warning, wait for the Big One. You won’t be able to run or escape. 3am you should have been at home in bed with your families.

  4. Kanne
    November 2, 2023

    Mediocrity and a smirking man with dimples reign in Dominica. Our country deserves better.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  5. Ibo France
    November 1, 2023

    The collapse of the VIP tent was just another normal day in Dominica. Dominica breeds and attracts negativity.

    The power grid, the hydro dam, the destruction of roads and bridges by flooding, the landslides, the revocation of visa free access to the UK – there is never a dull day in Dominica. The country is saturated with corruption and bedeviled with abnormalities.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    • Just Asking
      November 5, 2023

      You just described America. Who needs visa-free access to the UK anyway, a few business men who also prefer visa to the U.S either way?

  6. Roger Burnett
    November 1, 2023

    I commend Ms. Joseph for attempting to alert the organisers and for afterwards speaking out.

    This is an another example of what happened at Antrim fourteen years ago. That being: timely advice from a knowledgeable source being ignored with the response, “Go away, we know what we’re doing”.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

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