Billy Currington was resting Monday (Aug. 3) at his Nashville home after sustaining a minor concussion when the main stage collapsed during a country music festival in the Canadian province of Alberta. One of his fans, 35-year-old Donna Moore, was killed when a speaker fell on top of her.
Authorities said as many as 75 people were injured late Saturday (Aug. 1) afternoon when heavy winds and rain hit the Big Valley Jamboree, an outdoor festival in Camrose, Alberta. Currington was on the last song of his set and singer-actor Kevin Costner and his band, Modern West, were getting ready to appear when the stage collapsed.
Currington was treated and released at an area hospital. His bassist, Alex Stevens, was pinned beneath the stage wreckage for approximately 30 minutes while rescue personnel removed debris to free him. Stevens underwent immediate surgery to repair a severed artery and nerves in his left arm and is currently receiving treatment in Nashville.
Costner was not injured, although his road manager and a band member sustained minor injuries and were treated and released from an area hospital.
Moore was sitting on a section of bleachers connected to the stage when the force of the wind collapsed the stage and scaffolding. The mother of two, she was a resident of Lloydminster, a city located on the border of the Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces, and worked as a marketing assistant at the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce, the Edmonton Sun reported. Moore’s friend, Tracy Timmerman, told the newspaper, “That was the highlight of our weekend — that we were going to get to meet Billy [Currington] and sit on the stage.”
In a statement released by his record label, Currington said, “My heart goes out to the family of Donna Moore, who was killed, and all of the other fans who were hurt on Saturday.” In a message sent to fans via Twitter, he said, “The boys and I are very grateful to be home and for life itself. We thank you for your prayers and concern and will see you on the road again soon.”
Currington’s next concert is scheduled for Thursday (Aug. 6) in Sikeston, Mo.
On Costner’s Web site, he and his band members posted a statement indicating “it is difficult to know what to say” in the aftermath of the tragedy. “We would like to extend our warmest sympathy to the family and friends of Donna Moore, who was killed, as well as the family and friends of all those who were injured. Our prayers go out to you, and we wish with all our hearts that your loved ones’ stories from the festival were filled only with fond memories of music and celebration.”
The statement continued, “We would like to thank all of the Camrose and Edmonton rescue workers, who responded so valiantly and quickly in the midst of the chaos, as well as the superb staff and volunteers of St. Mary’s Hospital in Camrose. Your efforts were amazing, and we owe you a debt of gratitude for our health and safety. … We are all aware of how lucky we are to be alive, and we are so thankful to be back with our families today. However, our thoughts will continue to be with the city of Camrose and the fans at the Big Valley Jamboree, and we sincerely hope for another opportunity to share music with you.”
Approximately 15,000 people attended this year’s festival, and approximately 100 were on or near the stage when it collapsed. The four-day event began Thursday (July 30) and had included performances by Josh Turner, Glen Campbell, Joe Diffie and others. Saturday’s headliner, Gary Allan, was to perform immediately following Costner’s set. All of Sunday’s events were immediately canceled, including an appearance by Tim McGraw.