Cirque du Soleil audience, performers accidentally sprayed with vegetable oil

Saturday, September 8, 2018
Cirque du Soleil audience, performers accidentally sprayed with vegetable oil
An attendee at a Cirque du Soleil show in Redmond, Calif., shared a photo of the first few rows of seats covered in vegetable oil from an equipment malfunction on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.

A mechanical problem just minutes into a Cirque du Soleil show in Washington on Friday night caused a portion of the audience, as well as performers on stage, to be sprayed with vegetable oil.

The gross, slippery mess happened when a hose broke loose in the stage's hydraulics and sprayed the vegetable-based oil everywhere. The mechanical issue caused the show, titled VOLTA, to be cancelled.

"Tonight, during the first half of the 8:00 PM performance of VOLTA in Redmond, a problem in the hydraulic system caused a hose to break loose and spill some vegetable-based oil out onto the stage, and over some audience members," Cirque du Soleil said in a statement. "These audience members were escorted outside the Big Top by Cirque du Soleil employees and offered assistance."

The company said no one was injured in the accident, and the oil "posed no risk for the health" of the audience.

"Sitting at the cirque show and this happens in the opening act," Chase Costello said on Instagram. "Everything I have on is soaked in hydraulic oil. ... I'm soaking in oil and it burns."

Costello shared video following the incident with the stage coated in the slick oil and a geyser of it spraying up from the middle of the set.

A different audience attendee said they ended up cancelling the show about 30 minutes into the performance. Others in attendance shared photos of the first four rows of seats covered in oil.

The show on Friday was the first of a two-month stay at Marymoor Park in Redmond, which is about 15 miles east of Seattle. The show will be in the Seattle area through Nov. 4.

"We apologize for this incident and will automatically reimburse all guests who had purchased tickets for the cancelled show," Cirque du Soleil said.

No one was injured in Friday's incident, but a performer with the company, Yann Arnaud, died in an accident on stage at a Cique du Soleil show in Tampa, Florida, in April.

ABC News' Devin Villacis contributed to this report.

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