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Belvidere: Roof collapses at metal concert during storm, authorities responding

by staff

First responders rushed to a Belvidere venue after a roof collapsed during a metal concert Friday night.

Belvidere Mayor Clint Morris’ wife told the Tribune late Friday that he remained at the scene of the Apollo Theater, 104 N. State St., where the roof collapsed. The city is approximately 70 miles northwest of Chicago.


Morris dropped everything to hustle over there when it happened.

“He’s worried about the residents,” said the mayor’s wife, who asked to not be named.


The establishment was formerly a movie theatre, she said.

Video showed people inside the venue desperately lifting debris from the area in front of the stage to free trapped concertgoers as lightning lit the sky showing through a partially collapsed roof.

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Other video showed numerous fire and police vehicles outside the Apollo. The streets were littered in debris, and a large overhanging sign outside the venue’s entrance had fallen.

The town just east of Rockford in northeastern Illinois had been under a tornado warning until 8:30 p.m., the National Weather Service said. Radar indicated a tornado had formed in a large area that included the town, the NWS said.

Heavy metal bands Morbid Angel, Revocation and Skeletal Remains were set to play the venue Friday night, its website showed.

The show was canceled because of “a tornado that hit the Venue,” said a post to the band Morbid Angel’s Facebook page.


“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,” the band wrote. “Right now our focus is on making sure everyone in the venue tonight is OK and gets home.”

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.

Tribune reporter Rosemary Sobol contributed.

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