One Dead, Several Injured in Morbid Angel Concert Roof Collapse

The "full roof collapse" at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, IL, on Friday was caused by high winds from a storm system

Photo via ABC 7 Chicago

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Apr 3, 2023

One person is dead and several more are injured after the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, IL's roof collapsed during a Morbid Angel show on Friday (March 31).

At least 28 people were hospitalized in the "full roof collapse," which occurred just after an early set by Crypta. As per The New York Times, the venue announced that the show would have to be paused for 30 minutes due to "dangerous weather" — a storm system that caused tornadoes in Arkansas, Indiana and Mississippi, as well as high winds in many Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states [via the National Weather Service]. Soon thereafter, at around 7:45 p.m. CT, the Apollo's roof and front awning collapsed.

The National Weather Service said the venue suffered "possible tornado damage," though it remains unclear whether an actual tornado came through the area. Emergency workers arrived in response to an electrical fire behind the theatre, as well as gas leaks and an elevator rescue.

Thankfully, only about 260 people were inside the 1,500-capacity venue for the night's sold-out show at the time of the collapse. The man killed has been identified as 50-year-old Fred Livingston Jr., while approximately 40 other concertgoers were treated for injuries, with five suffering critical ones.

Morbid Angel, as well as Revocation and Skeletal Remains, were obviously unable to perform. Crypta shared on Instagram that all of the touring bands were safe, while Morbid Angel wrote on Facebook that they were sheltering in place at the venue.

They later issued a statement on the tragic incident, writing, "On behalf of Morbid Angel, we want to first and foremost send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the individual who tragically lost their life last night in the venue roof collapse due to heavy winds from a Tornado. We lost a brother in Metal last night, and many were hurt and injured in this tragedy."

The band continued, "We would like to express how truly thankful we are for those in attendance (Fans, Venue Staff, Bands and Crew) that assisted with getting people out and to safety. We want to thank the First responders (Fire, EMT, Police) that were on the scene quickly and were able to help in getting people out of the venue and to hospitals for treatment as quickly as possible. YOU ARE TRUE HEROES!" They added that they would reschedule their April 1 show in Joliet, IL, to Wednesday (April 5).

Morbid Angel also shared a note from Livingston's niece Brittany, linking a GoFundMe that has raised above and beyond its $20,000 USD goal as of this writing. Another fundraising campaign has been launched to aid a woman named Michelle, who broke her spine, wrist and 10 ribs in the collapse.

See the statement from the band below.

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