There seem to be two big media stories today – the arrival of the Royal baby and Beyoncé’s hair!
Having watched the video (Click here if you haven’t seen it) of Beyoncé in the crowds and seeing her hair being dragged into the large rotary fan on stage, it’s amazing to see the determination and focus she has to carry-on. She is also extremely lucky that her minders were close by and presumably switched off the fan almost immediately. The size of the fan would have provided some anchorage so that it didn’t start flaying around in the audience. But the speed with which it was switched off would have reduced a potentially very serious accident and no doubt Beyoncé probably has a sore head today, but she still has her trademark mane of hair!
The news led me to search the internet for other on-stage incidents and there are more than one might think. One was of Pink, doing a Cirque du Soleil style trapeze act in Nuremberg in 2010. She fell out of her harness, hitting a metal barricade before hitting the ground. Thankfully she didn’t break anything, but confessed that she hadn’t been clipped into the harness properly.
Sarah Guyrad-Guillot an acrobat with the Cirque Du Soleil was not so lucky at the beginning of this month. She slipped from her safety wire whilst performing in Las Vegas on 1st July and fell 15m (50ft) to her death.
There is plenty of coverage on the internet about artists falling off stage during live performances; some might say it’s a hazard of the job. The reality is, it IS a job. Whilst YouTube footage makes entertaining watching, very often the incidents need not have happened. Being an artist is no different to any other form of earning a living – good planning, risk assessment and communication are all key to making the performances safe, not only for the audience, but the performers too; and an alert, proactive, safety conscious support team can make all the difference in the world!