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New Outdoor Stage Regulations Expected This Week

A commission will likely approve new regulations this week on temporary outdoor stage equipment.

state fair stage ceremony

Photo: Gretchen Frazee/WFIU

Mitch Daniels addresses a crowd at the Indiana State Fair in the aftermath of August's collapse.

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.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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