The roof of the Merriweather Post Pavilion, one of the Washington region’s best known outdoor entertainment venues, crashed to the ground early Saturday, as it was in the last stages of being raised to a new position.
No injuries were reported in the collapse at the amphitheater in Columbia, Md., in Howard County. Work on the roof was part of a five-year renovation project.
The roof, which covered both the stage and seating, was being lifted hydraulically over a period of months, officials from the pavilion said in a statement. On Saturday morning, it was in its near-final position, and all that remained was to put it in its permanent place.
However, around 2:30 a.m., the roof “unexpectedly fell,” said the statement posted on Twitter.
“Of course we will rebuild — and the 2018 season will start as planned,” it said, adding that the reason for the collapse was being assessed.
The “winds of fate prevailed and decided that, instead of simply raising the roof, we should go ahead and build a new one,” said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of the organization that operates the site.
It was not clear if the collapse was connected to any actual winds. At about 2 a.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service reported a 43 mph wind gust at Thurgood Marshall Baltimore Washington International Airport.
Last year was the 50th season for the amphitheater, which has a capacity of 18,000. As part of the renovation, the roof was to be raised 20 feet to offer fans a better view of the stage. Many fans come to sit on the lawn.