TORONTO, Ont. – The weather was warm and clear, with a sold-out crowd expected to take in the music of “Radiohead,” when the concert stage came crashing down at Downsview Park Saturday.
Ontario Ministry of Labour investigators will be at the site Sunday to try and determine what caused the collapse, which killed one man and left three others injured.
Authorities have now confirmed that the deceased man is Scott Johnson, 33, Radiohead’s drum tech.
Radiohead drummer Phil Selway released the following statement on behalf of the band on radiohead.com, Sunday:
“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.”
Johnson also worked for other British bands, including Keane.
Witnesses say the incident began with a loud rumble – almost like a roller coaster – as the stage buckled and began to collapse.
Dusty was working nearby when the incident happened.
“I heard the loud sheet-metal crash, it’s like the structure caved in at the top,” Dusty said. “It didn’t look serious at first but I guess from a different angle the damage must have been severe.”
The stage was being set up for a Radiohead concert set for Saturday evening when the collapse happened around 4 p.m. The show was subsequently cancelled.
A man in his 30s was killed while a 45-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening head injuries. Two other men were treated on scene and released. All four men are part of the set-up crew.
Concert-goers who were already at the scene ahead of the show posted on Twitter that the area was cleared by emergency crews. Others who arrived later were immediately told to go home, with some not knowing what had happened.
Officers from every division were called in to assist.
Radiohead was not stage at the time. A spokesperson for LiveNation says fans will be refunded at the point of purchase. The band has since Tweeted, “Due to unforeseen circumstances tonight’s concert at Downsview park tonight has been cancelled. Fans are advised not to make their way to the venue”.
This is the second time a Radiohead show has been cancelled in Toronto. The big blackout of 2003 saw their August 16 evening show at the Molson Amphitheatre called off as well.
The incident also marks the third time a stage has collapsed in North America since July 2011.