Sugarland prepared to return to the stage on Thursday for their first performance since a stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair killed five people.
The Grammy-winning country duo was minutes from performing at the fair in Indianapolis last Saturday when 60 to 70 mph winds gusts knocked the massive stage onto the audience. Four were killed instantly, another person died later. About four dozen others were hurt.
Sugarland members Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush were not injured in the accident. Their manager told The Associated Press earlier this week that a decision by their touring manager to hold them back after seeing the sky likely saved their lives.
They canceled their Sunday show at the Iowa State Fair but said earlier this week they were looking forward to getting their “touring family” back together and using their music to help with healing.
“Our road family experienced its traumas together,” they said in a statement on their website. “While we all scattered to our given families for their comfort, the trauma we experienced together binds us in a unique way that we share only with each other, and those who were there. There is healing in our being together. There is healing in our working together.”
The band’s elaborate set and instruments were all destroyed, but the group said “this incredible machine is more than a tour and more than a set. We have always celebrated music as a healer. While music cannot change the events and losses at the Indiana State Fair, it can hopefully serve as a ritual and a balm to provide comfort and facilitate healing in this time of great sorrow.”
They plan a private memorial for the victims in Indiana.