||Main >> Article ID 413
| Don't worry, show will go on - eventually||Type: Internet Article|
|Don't worry, show will go on - eventually||Aug 12, 2003|
|by NEAL BUCCINO|
|ATLANTIC CITY - It ain't no lie; Justin and Christina will not - repeat, not - have to say "Bye Bye Bye" to Atlantic City, or any of the other stops on their Justified/Stripped tour.|
At least a few of the shows by pop stars Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera - including the one scheduled for last Saturday at Boardwalk Hall - will be rescheduled, a Timberlake representative said Monday afternoon.
The rest of the concerts in the international tour will take place as originally planned.
So if you have tickets from Saturday's show, hold onto them. They will be honored when the concert finally takes place, publicist Benny Tarantini, representing Timberlake and Jive Records, said.
Meanwhile, federal and local officials are conducting an "aggressive and coordinated investigation" to find out just what went wrong Saturday afternoon, according to a Boardwalk Hall press release.
A "supergrid" - an Erector set-like metal structure fitted with electronic and lighting equipment - collapsed over the stage, hours before Saturday's concert was to begin.
An estimated 30 people working below were able to move out of the way as the steel rigging slowly buckled and lurched downward.
Authorities said three unidentified stagehands suffered minor injuries.
Timberlake's representative guessed the collapse caused "over $1 million in damage" to the show's lighting, sound, video and staging equipment.
The cause is still unknown and no one, at this point, knows who to blame, said Jeff Vasser, executive director of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitor's Authority.
The good news Monday was that the Atlantic City show will indeed go on, even if no one knows when. That was the word from Vasser, from Tarantini and from representatives of the tour.
It was better news than expected.
On Saturday, engineers for the concert thought the damage was so great that the entire Justified/Stripped tour would have to be canceled.
"Every bit of equipment is crushed. Tour's over," an engineer who belonged to the touring company said Saturday.
After Saturday's concert, the next show in the Justified/Stripped lineup was scheduled for Monday night, in Albany, New York. That show did not take place.
But, like the Boardwalk Hall show, will be rescheduled, Tarantini said.
The next concerts were set for Wednesday, in East Rutherford; and Thursday, in Hartford, Conn.
Those shows also will be postponed.
But the shows scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island might take place on time, Tarantini said.
There will be four more shows after that, and then a month-long lull in the Justified/Stripped schedule.
On Sept. 22, Timberlake and Aguilera plan to begin the tour's European leg.
There is no way to know when Boardwalk Hall will reopen, however.
Vasser said the hall is closed to everyone who is not part of the investigation. The Wedding of the Sea, an event scheduled for Friday, will move to the Atlantic City Convention Center.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority hired an independent structural engineer, McLaren Engineering Corp. of New York, to oversee the investigation.
Investigating agencies include the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA; the state Division of Community Affairs; and representatives of the companies that designed and installed the supergrid.
The designer is Geiger Engineers, of New York. Pennsylvania's Mountain Productions assembled and installed the grid in 2002.
Mountain Productions last inspected the grid Aug. 6 - three days before the collapse.
Saturday's mishap was the second collapse of lighting equipment at Boardwalk Hall in nearly three years.
A previous supergrid collapsed in September 2000 while event planners prepared for the Miss America Pageant. That collapse did not cause any injuries, and did not delay the pageant.
Atlantic City Fire Department officials have been on the scene since Saturday, Assistant Chief Inspector Nick DeMarco said.
The pile of bent metal and equipment also is filled with pyrotechnics that would have been used in the show.
There are concussion mortars to create loud bangs and gerbs to create showers of sparks. If any of the pyrotechnics go off, the pile could lose its stability and collapse further, DeMarco said.
To stabilize the devices, firefighters might have to set them off.
"It creates another wrinkle," DeMarco said.
But at least the show will go on.
Teresa and Ferd Puliti, of Springfield, went to the Boardwalk Hall box office Monday afternoon to find out whether their 19-year-old daughter would get to use her tickets at some future date - or just get a refund.
They couldn't get an answer. By 2:15 p.m., concert organizers and Boardwalk Hall representatives still did not know what would happen next.
The Pulitis said their daughter, Ali, took some comfort from the fact that she also had tickets to Wednesday night's show in East Rutherford.
When Teresa heard the rumor that the Atlantic City and East Rutherford shows might both be canceled, she joked:
"Oh, if I told my daughter that might she would kill herself."
Source: Press Of Atlanta City
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