Merriweather Post Pavilion Roof Collapses
The roof of the historic Merriweather Post Pavilion collapsed during renovation work on Saturday morning (Jan. 13), operators confirmed.
The Columbia, Md., amphitheater completed its 50th season in 2017 and was partway through a $55,000,000 redevelopment process when the incident occurred. No one was injured when the roof, which was in the process of being raised, appeared to fall victim to extreme wind conditions.
“Merriweather’s pavilion roof… was being hydraulically lifted 20 feet over a period of months,” said owner IMP’s chairman Seth Hurwitz in a statement. “The roof was in its near-final position and the next anticipated step was to secure it permanently.” He added: “There is a team of experts assessing why the roof fell. Of course we will rebuild – and the 2018 season will start as planned.”
Hurwitz also said: “Well, we knew it was too easy. So, just to see what we’re really made of, we were shown what the roof was made of. Up close and in person… [T]he winds of fate prevailed and decided that, instead of simply raising the roof, we should just go ahead and build a new one. Was not our decision, but the bright side is all the money we save on imploding.”
The Merriweather Post Pavilion opened in 1967 and eventually achieved a capacity of 19,139. It frequently appears in lists of the best venues in the U.S. Notable appearances have included those by Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Janis Joplin, and the only time Led Zeppelin and The Who shared a stage. In 2016 local activist Ian Kennedy, who’d led a successful campaign to save the amphitheater from closure, cut the beard off that he’d been growing in protest since the campaign began in 2003.