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The Post  
Stage Collapse before Radiohead Concert Kills 1, Injures 3 in Toronto
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/17/12 6:04 am | updated: 06/18/12 1:50 am
Radiohead was scheduled to perform a sold-out outdoor concert at Toronto's Downsview Park Saturday night, but that had to be canceled after a tragic accident before the gates opened yesterday afternoon. Vendors, workers and other crew were busy setting up around the venue making final preparations when everyone's attention turned toward the stage at around 4 pm.

Some reported hearing loud "popping" and "cracking" sounds, while they watching the entire stage twist, snap, and the top canopy crash to the stage. There were crew on the stage at the time and one man in his 30's died at the scene after being crushed. Three others were injured, one had to be rushed to the hospital while the other two were treated on scene.

The concert was immediately canceled. Radiohead put out the notice on their website and promised refunds to the 40,000 fans who were expected to attend. This was the final concert on Radiohead's North American tour. They came through Philly on Wednesday, playing at the Susquehanna Bank Center.

Canada's Ministry of Labour already had two inspectors and and engineer on site to inspect the scene and begin the investigation as to what happened. The weather at the time was reported as near perfect and not a factor.

There seems to be a proliferation of temporary/semi-permanent stage mishaps recently. A stage fell during a Cheap Trick concert at Ottawa’s Bluesfest last year, injuring three. At the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, AB in 2009 the main stage collapsed, killing one and injuring 15. High winds at Indiana State Fair last August knocked over the staging and killed seven and injured 58 right before Sugarland played. Last week, in Las Vegas, organizers of the Electric Daisy Carnival took cues from past disaters and watched high desert winds and moved crowds around and shut it down when it became too risky.

The North by Northwest festival has been going on in Toronto all week. Saturday night also featured a free Flaming Lips concert in the city, which after the accident many fans flocked back to. They were also fueled by Lip's frontman Wayne Coyne's tweet invitation for Radiohead to join them on stage. That did not happen but the Flaming Lips did play "Knive's Out" by Radiohead, adding "This unthinkable thing that happened today, we can't all help but be affected by it...Peace be with their hearts tonight.”

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(1) response


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 06/18 1:50 am
Radiohead issued this statement about the 33-year-old drum tech, Scott Johnson, who lost his life in the collapse:

"We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague. He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew. We will miss him very much. Our thoughts and love are with Scott's family and all those close to him."

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