Some of y’all are confusing possible criminal liability (ie, being sent to the pokey) with civil liability (where money damages are awarded). There’s little doubt that the band, club, and anyone who ever did business with them will be subject to numerous lawsuits from the survivors as well as the deceased victims’ families. Given that there is no question as to the catastrophic loss incurred, and that the loss was due to malfeasance either by the club proprietor, the band, or both, there is no question in my mind that there is attendant civil liability and someone’s gonna have to pay enormous money damages.
The issue of criminal liability, however, is much more muddled. As a previous poster cited, the club has hosted acts in the past which used pyrotechnics which may have been even larger and more likely to ignite a combustible source than the ones which GW used, to no (apparent) ill effect. They were, apparently, in full compliance with Rhode Island’s building codes, had a valid operating permit and did not exceed the building’s capacity nor block any exits.
GW, according to the interview I saw of Jack Russell, uses supposedly low-temperature pyrotechnics (he compared them to sparklers) and also supposedly obtained oral permission from the club’s management to use them.
Whether true or not, the essential point is this - did either the club’s actions or Great White’s actions (collectively or individually) rise to the level of criminality? Did they intentionally and deliberately place people’s lives at risk? Were they wreckless in any way? Did they exhibit blatant disregard for the safety of the patrons of the club? If not, it’s hard to argue that their conduct should result in criminal charges.
Why is it so difficult for people to accept that this is an ACCIDENT? Tragic, awful, and horrible for all involved - but are the club proprietor or the band to be held criminally responsible for what was, by all accounts, a freak and entirely unintended event? I don’t think so!