- Posted on Mar 19th 2011 6:30PM by Jason MacNeil
According to a report in Austin360, a camera boom -- weighing approximately 350 pounds and roughly 10 feet off the ground -- fell, which resulted in the injuries. The four victims were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge with injuries not deemed life-threatening.
Several fan posts on the band's message board described lead singer Andy McCluskey arriving onstage at 1AM, just as the camera boom fell onto fans near the left hand side of the stage. Seeing what happened, McCluskey asked for a doctor to assist those hurt. Emergency crews and medics were on the scene within minutes.
The band played a shortened set, dedicating the performance to those who were hurt. "We're pretty upset," SXSW spokesman Roland Swenson said. "This is our 25th year and we've never had anyone permanently injured. It's disheartening."
"Once we realized what had actually happened, and that there we people who needed medical treatment, it was obvious that we could not start playing," McCluskey said on the band's website. "I guess that if there was any "luck" involved, it was the fact that the camera crane fell before we actually started. It would have been much more confusing and slower to resolve if we were into the set. I expected the concert to be canceled.
"We just waited to see if the injured were going to be OK. (I hear that they are OK.) Once the police said it was fine to play, we decided that we should at least do something for those who had paid money and waited until 1:30AM -- even though the 2AM curfew would not be pushed back! It felt rather weird at the beginning, but slowly the band and audience started to reconnect. It was actually a great seven-song set, and an even greater relief that no one is permanently hurt!"
Swenson also said that festival officials were not aware the performance was being videotaped as the company sponsoring the show -- New York shoe company Steve Madden -- used a different company to shoot the concert.
OMD made no mention of the incident on its official site, however McCluskey seemed a bit peeved following the band's performance Thursday evening when the venue Maggie Mae's shortened their set. "The venue... or should I say 's-- hole'..had a very tight policy on scheduling," McCluskey wrote in a message Friday afternoon regarding Thursday night's slot. "Unfortunately there was a totally unrealistic plan for changeover times. Most bands went on late and got told to stop early."
The band is slated to perform in Dallas Sunday evening, March 20, as they continue on their North American tour.