Yesterday was a day I’d been waiting for ever since my 14-year-old self first fell in love with Seth Cohen, and went on to worship his favourite band, Death Cab for Cutie. I had a new outfit, I purchased my band t-shirt in the morning to avoid long lines and dwindling stock, I had a bag of mini donuts in my purse. I was excited.
Photo: Leon Switzer, Canadian Press
With five minutes left in my shift in the beer tent, I began waiting anxiously for the person coming to take my place so I could get out of there and go find a good spot for the concert. But my relief never came.
I noticed the temperature had dropped substantially, but since I was inside the tent, I couldn’t see the sky. A customer told me a tornado was heading for us, but I nervously assumed he was joking. I’d barely passed him his beer when huge winds started shaking the tent.
I stood paralyzed by fear while security guards rushed to hold down the tent. Then, like something out of a movie, the main stage directly in front of me crumbled.
We were instructed to run into the War Museum with our cash trays, where all the volunteers were to wait for further instruction.
I chose to go back to the tent for my purse just as the last people were evacuating. As I crawled under the table to get my bag, bottles fell around me and I was certain the tent was going to blow away and take me with it. It was one of the terrifying moments of my life.
Inside the museum, we were told Cheap Trick had safely made it off stage (luckily, they’d already played “I Want You to Want Me”), and the festival was being shut down.
I was completely shaken and heartbroken that I missed my chance to see Death Cab, but I have to remember it’s not the end of the world. I will see them one day.
I’m very relieved there were no serious injuries. Things could have been a lot worse.
I’m also very grateful to the leaders and other volunteers in my tent who, while I’m sure were just as scared as I was, didn’t show it.
Despite the devastating end, I’ll remember this year’s Bluesfest for some of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.