Tragedy struck during a Morbid Angel concert on the evening of March 31st when the roof of the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois collapsed, killing 1 and hospitalizing over 40. Currently, 2 people are being treated with life threatening injuries.
According to the Belvidere Police Department, although the concert was sold out, only 260 people were in attendance at the 1,500 capacity venue as a torrential storm passed through the area.
Speaking on the disaster, Belvidere Fire Department chief Shawn Schadle said that officials were notified by the National Weather Service of a tornado warning at 7:45 p.m. CT. The roof collapsed ten minutes later.
The man who was killed during the incident has been identified as 50 year old Frederick Forest Livingston, Jr. A GoFundMe fundraising campaign has been set up to help Livingston’s family.
Morbid Angel released the following statement on the night of April 1st via social media: “We want to personally send our heartfelt condolences to the the family and friends of our deceased brother in Metal, Fred Livingston Jr.”
In a statement to ABC News, Livingston’s sister Deanna Hicks said: “On behalf of the family of Frederick Forest Livingston, Jr.Fred was a son, brother, father, uncle and grandpa. Fred was a car (proud owner of a 1967 GTO) and Heavy Metal enthusiast. Fred had a big heart and cared for others deeply. Please keep all of Fred’s family and friends in your thoughts. Please respect our privacy.”
Hicks says that Livingston’s son Alex, who was also in attendance, is “ok.”
In an introductory message on the GoFundMe page, Livingston’s niece Brittany Mills says: “It is with great sorrow that we have to share the unexpected passing of Fred Livingston Jr. On March 31st, a tragic event at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois led to the loss of a great man. Fred was an amazing man that leaves behind his three sons, Alex, Fred III, and Shane, along with the rest of his family that cared about him deeply.
“Our family still cannot comprehend this unexpected tragedy and we are asking for donations to help with the costs that come along with losing a family member. On behalf of our family, we greatly appreciate any support that can be offered to help get us through this tough time.
“We hope to update you soon on more details for services to honor the life of a son, brother, father and grandpa who will be truly missed.”
The scene was described by Belvidere police chief Shane Woody as “chaos. Absolute chaos.“ Over 20 ambulances were dispatched to the theater, according to local reports.
An eyewitness told the Rockford Scanner: “It was in between sets. The first band had just played. People were going outside to smoke. And then all the people came running back in, ’cause the rain started coming down real heavy. Then all of a sudden the door that they came out of was swinging back and forth, slamming super hard. All the power went out in the building and the entire ceiling collapsed on everybody in the front area — right at the stage, on the stage, the people behind the stage; that sector of the building. When it came down, it blew me out towards the exit door. I crawled out a hole through the door and I escaped without a scratch; I don’t know how I did. But there’s definitely casualties and 50, about a hundred wounded — severely. It’s horrible.”
The concert was part of Morbid Angel’s 2023 tour with Revocation, Skeletal Remains, and Crypta.