The General Assembly passed legislation this past session designed to address the tragedy at the State Fair in two ways. A summer study committee was created to investigate long-term, permanent ways to update the law regarding outdoor stage regulation, and, in the short term, the legislature directed the state Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission to draft temporary regulations for use this year.
But Indiana State Festivals Association Vice President Gale Gerber says he’s concerned the temporary regulations will over burden small events.
“The heart of a festival or small fair is the entertainment that they provided to their communities and stuff,” Gerber says. “We just didn’t want to see that ruined.”
Gerber says stages local events use are usually much smaller and have far less equipment on them. And since small fairs and festivals operate on tight budgets, Gerber says he is worried the cost of bringing in an engineering team to make sure the stage conforms to regulations will be too high.
The Commission will consider the regulations at its meeting Wednesday.