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- Posted on Jun 16th 2012 4:24PM by Ron Nurwisah
Courtesy of Kelsey Wetheral, Twitter
Radiohead have made an official statement:
"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." -- Phil Selway
UPDATE June 17, 11:50 a.m.:
BBC News has confirmed that Scott Johnson, Radiohead's drum tech, was the man who died in the tragic stage collapse in Toronto yesterday: "A relative confirmed the death of the 33-year-old, from Doncaster, who also worked for the another British band, Keane." The site remains under investigation and the tragedy is expected send reverberations throughout the music world.
Many of the fans who had planned to attend the Radiohead show instead came down to Yonge-Dundas Square where Spinner was hosting a free NXNE concert headlined by the Flaming Lips. The stage collapse was on the mind of the crowd and the band, and Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne paid tribute throughout the show, including a moving cover of Radiohead's "Knives Out," which he presaged by saying "peace be with their hearts tonight." Later Coyne noted "everyone is looking for an answer when something like this happens, this song says just hold on the best you can" before playing "Waitin' For a Superman." "This has been a pretty powerful day. This goes out to the Radiohead family," he said, closing the show with a tearful yet triumphant "Do You Realize?"
UPDATE: Media reports indicate that one person has died in the stage collapse. Three others are being treated by emergency crews.
We also have confirmed that the stage collapse has forced the cancellation of a sold-out Radiohead concert at Downsview Park.
Police are asking people to stay away from the area.
The park was scheduled to open at 5 p.m. this evening for the sold-out show, with Canadian electronic act Caribou slated to perform ahead of the acclaimed UK headliner. Downsview Park officials announced the show's cancellation via Twitter and Facebook, which was flooded with tweets from would-be concertgoers after the incident.
Last year, a stage collapse at the Ottawa Blues Festival caused a number of injuries, but no deaths. The collapse happened during a storm. The weather in Toronto today was sunny and calm.
UPDATE #2: Live Nation has officially responded to the stage collapse:
"FANS ARE ADVISED NOT TO MAKE THEIR WAY TO THE VENUE.DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE RADIOHEAD SHOW AT DOWNSVIEW PARK TONIGHT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
REFUNDS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE AT POINT OF PURCHASE.
FURTHER INFORMATION IS TO FOLLOW."
UPDATE #3: Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, who are in Toronto to play at the NXNE festival, reacted to the stage collapse on Twitter.
"So sorry to hear about the bad shit at the Radiohead stage ... F---!!! All respect!! All love!!! Our thoughts are with you ... "
UPDATE #4: More details are emerging about the stage collapse. "EMS says the piping/scaffolding holding up the lighting rig collapsed. Downsview Park is federal land. Ministry of Labour to investigate," tweeted music journalist Alan Cross.
Police are expected to provide an update later Saturday evening.
UPDATE #5: From Toronto Police's statement:
"The area is rendered safe. Unfortunately one person has been killed," Const. Tony Vella told the media Saturday evening.
Police will work with the Ministry of Labour to determine the cause, and witnesses are encouraged to come forward.
Expect traffic delays around the area.
Witnesses also described the collapse.
""Suddenly, there was a loud crash and it sounded like sheet metal and lightening and we just saw the stage collapse," said Dusty Lalas, an employee with Toronto radio station The Edge, which was sponsoring the concert.
Read more on the Huffington Post Canada's liveblog.
UPDATE #6: Caribou, the electronic act scheduled to open for Radiohead expressed their condolences for the worker killed in the stage collapse.
"We are profoundly saddened by what happened today. All our sympathy is with the band and crew and the families of those affected," the band tweeted.
Organizers of the Halifax Pop Explosion, who were in town for the NXNE festival also paid tribute to the victim of the accident. "Thinking of our hard working stage crew, managers, techs and riggers after the news that one of our own died at the radiohead show. Next time you see the road crew, thank them for their hard work," they wrote on their Facebook page.
Finally, the Flaming Lips, who were playing a show as part of NXNE paid homage to Radiohead and the worker. Playing a pair of Radiohead covers during their show and dedicating their song "Do You Realize" to the Radiohead family.
"It's been a pretty powerful day. This goes out to the Radiohead family," the band said before closing their set to a crowd of more than 20,000 people in downtown Toronto.
Original Story Below.
The stage has collapsed at Downsview Park, the site of tonight's Radiohead concert in Toronto. It is not known whether anyone has been injured, but the the band did not appear to be on stage when the collapse happened.
Dozens of photos posted to Twitter show a large part of the stage crumpled. Another photo showed Toronto emergency services already on the scene.
Emergency services said that three people were injured, one critically.
People had just begun to trickle into the park for the sold-out show. Tonight's show has been cancelled.
Spinner spoke to Zach Carothers of Portugal. the Man, who are playing the outdoor stage at Younge-Dundas Square today, about the stage collapse.
"We never really thought about it before last year until those several terrible things happened, so yes it's a worry. It's just a terrible thing everyone going out and expecting a really fun time at a rock show. It's terrible. I've already heard reports that one person died, and our hearts go out to their family. Hopefully everyone else is alright.
Ben Roth of Brooklyn indie pop outfit Oberhofer tells Spinner "I think it's really shitty that [stage collapses are] happening so much lately. A lot of people have lost lives. I think it's probably due to people trying to get the cheapest labor and throw it together as quickly as possible. I'm actually a union stage hand and I think it's very f---ing disappointing that people don't put forth the funding to make things safe. And now all the bands carry that experience with them. It's such a shitty thing."
We will update you as more information becomes available.