i hope that never happens to me! i don't do cutting demos, only forms, but usually with lots of people around! here's a similar story:
i went to a local tournament run by a nearby tang soo do school. everything was going pretty good. i was a little less than pleased with winning only 2nd in forms. i don't remember why i wasn't sparring, but i've never been a fan of point-sparring. so anyway it was time for the weapons division. it was my first time competing in weapons. at the beginning it seemed as though the judges were gonna split us into traditional and creative weapons forms. in the end, they split up into boys and girls.it was only my school and the host school's students who were doing any weapons. me, my brother, and a boy from the host school were in one group, a friend from our school and 2 girls from the host school were in the other.
we agreed it should be ladies first. so they all three of them went and got scored. i believe it was the girl from our school and one from the host school that tied for 1st. the girl from our school had done bo and the girl from the host school had done her creative kama form...but, because they tied, they would be allowed to do the same form over or do a different one. this included switching weapons. so the girl from the other school decided to switch to her creative bo form. it included many BIG horizontal swings. guess where our ring was. right next to the audience. guess what separated the audience from the ring. traffic cones. next thing anyone knew it was bo swing+traffic cone= bo staff in 2 big pieces, and one small piece. one big piece fell, the other stayed in the girl's hand and the small piece flew and hit a spectator an inch from his eye! he was ok; they called the paramedics just for extra precaution. the girl was a little frenzied, but she was ok in the end too.
everyone was ok, but those of us who hadn't gone were extremely nervous now. they made the ring twice as large before we went. the first person to go in our division was the boy from the other school. he had an impressive creative bo form, but he dropped his staff inches away from me halfway through his form and had to start over. my brother went next without any problems. i was a little rattled from all the weapon mishaps and was nervous cause my form had a bunch of rather powerful swings. but i managed to get up in front of the judges, said my little introduction (judges: my name is xyz from xyz school, with your permission i will perform xyz form).
everything went fine, i kept my bo under total control during the swings. the crowd was certainly freaked out and gasped whenever my bo whistled. i had good ki-haps and strong stances. i won first place for the first time ever (the guy who dropped his bo got last).
nowadays whenever it's time for the weapons division, everyone clears a huge space and the judges move their chairs way back.
always keep control of your weapons kids.