08/03/09

Big Valley Jamboree, Camrose AB


Category: General
Posted by: Shiela

As most of you have heard by now, Big Valley Jamboree, suffered a terrible disaster, an Act of God, that demolished the main stage.  The Plow winds that came in full force was upon so fast, and it took only seconds to destroy a life and injure many.

I suppose I am writing this, as I watch the local news and I hear some BVJ'ers claim that we coud have been warned, that the organizers did not give us any time to take cover.   They gave us as much time as they possibly could  Follow the timeline that is posted on the news, they got the warning and two minutes later they were on stage evacuating.   Environment Canada has stated they thought it would be 20 minutes before the storm hit, they were mistaken.  The winds were travelling 20 km per hour, faster than normal.  Kevin Costner's Agent stated that the only time they knew that it was collapsing is when it collapsed. 

I have been attending for several years, and personally know the organizers of this event and they have always put the well being of the patrons and the various organizations that contribute to make this event a safe and successful one.   I think instead of criticzing their management style, that we should be praising them, their staff, OBO Security, Premier Global staff, all the people we are not aware of that got people off the stage, and saved many lives.  and yes sadly, Ms. Donna Moore, lost her life, but how many lives would have been lost, if these people were not there doing their job and evacuating the stage.

My husband and I were right there in the middle of it, and I am not embarassed to say, that I actually thought that our time had come, but not once did I ever think then or even now, that the organizers of this event did not do everything in their power to keep all of us safe.   We were sitting in our seats and aroud 5:30 we decided to leave before Billy Currington finished his set, to get some dinner.   As we were sitting eating our dinner about 150' from the main stage, the VIP tent started shaking wildly, and people started rushing out the exits.  We looked out where a panel had gone down, and the stage was gone.   In tooks seconds for this "wind" to destroy evertyhing.   My husband had the good sense not to follow the crowds out of the tent immediately, we hung back close to the edge, as if the tent was going, we thouht we could crawl out.  All our friends that attended this event were lucky, and spared from this wrath.  We were only 150 ' away from the main stage, but that wind, had only one target in mind, and it was main stage.

I want to thank all the people who have called us, as they know we attend Big Valley Jamboree, every year, to insure that we are safe.   Thank you for thinking of us and caring. 

I also want to say to Ms Moore's family, that our prayers are with you.  

Glen and Larry and their staff, you have a terrible job ahead of you and are in our thoughts.