An intense storm caused the roof to collapse Friday night (March 31st) at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois, where Morbid Angel were set to play along with Revocation, Skeletal Remains, and Crypta. One person has been reported dead, with at least another 28 injured.
The collapse came roughly 30 minutes into the metal concert, right after a tornado warning was issued for the area. Approximately 260 people were inside the sold-out 1,500 capacity venue at the time of the incident. As of this posting the National Weather Service has not confirmed whether a tornado touched down on the venue itself.
In addition to the roof collapse, the marquee and facade came crashing onto the street. Of the injured, at least five were serious, as multiple ambulances were called to the scene.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker released a statement reading, “My administration is closely monitoring the roof collapse at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere tonight. I’ve been in touch with officials for updates and to direct any available resources we can. As we learn more, please follow the guidance of all local authorities.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, Belvidere police chief Shane Woody described the situation as, “Chaos. Absolute chaos. When officers are first on the scene, when the fire department and first responders get here, they do the best they can to control the chaos as much as possible.”
Morbid Angel posted on Facebook, “Tonight’s show is canceled due to a Tornado that hit the Venue, and caused the roof, over the area in-front of the stage, and marquee to collapse.”
The band continued, “We ask anyone who is still traveling to the venue to please seek shelter and stay safe. We are currently sheltering in place, and want to extend our support and hope that everyone at the show tonight is safe. Right now our focus is on making sure everyone in the venue tonight is ok and gets home.”
Revocation wrote on Facebook, “Everyone in the bands and crew are safe. Out thoughts are with everyone affected by this disaster.”
Crypta, who had apparently just played before the roof collapse, reported, “We are safe and sound. All bands on the package are safe … A tornado hit the venue [and] we lost our RV, but we are OK.”
Our thoughts go out to the victims of this horrific tragedy. Local news reports from ABC 7 Chicago can be seen below, as well as footage from inside the venue.
This is a developing story…
BREAKING: ‘Mass Casualty Incident’ declared following roof collapse at ‘Morbid Angels’ concert in Belvidere, Illinois pic.twitter.com/DQj002lPo5
— Intel Point Alert (@IntelPointAlert) April 1, 2023
BREAKING: A large section of the roof of the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, Illinois has just collapsed during a concert. Rescue crews are on the scene. Further details:Advertisement
– Mass Casualty event
– EMS requesting twenty ambulances to the scene
– Took place during a Morbid Angels… pic.twitter.com/u8kENEyKNk
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) April 1, 2023