After Radiohead’s stage collapsed last weekend in Toronto, killing the band’s 33-year-old drum tech Scott Johnson and injuring three others, the band issued a brief statement expressing their condolences to his family and friends. Now that the shock of the devastation has worn off the band is attending to business, telling fans that they’re going to have to postpone seven European tour dates to fix the damage the accident caused to their “unique” setup.
“The collapse also destroyed the light show — this show was unique and will take many weeks to replace,” the band write on their official website. “The collapse also caused serious damage to our backline, some elements of which are decades old and therefore hard to replace. Whilst we all are dealing with the grief and shock ensuing from this terrible accident there are also many practical considerations to deal with.” Effected shows include gigs running from June 30 to July 9; the band writes it hopes to announce rescheduled dates on June 27 along with refund information for fans who can’t attend the new concerts. Their next live show will take place at Les Arenes Nimes, Bilbao BBK festival and Lisbon Optimus Alive festival. “We will make every effort to offer the fans the very best show possible under the circumstances,” the band continues. “Thanks for your understanding and support.
Over the past week, Toronto police have been busy investigating the factors that led to the collapse and Johnson’s subsequent death, which came when he was crushed under the roof when it fell. Radiohead’s touring company, Ticker Tape Touring LLP, and Live Nation Entertainment have been questioned, according to the Toronto Star.
Earlier today, the CBC reported (via Billboard) that the lighting crew assembling the stage setup Saturday afternoon, including one of Radiohead’s engineers, “expressed concern” that the rigging was too heavy, but that another local engineer “gave the okay” anyway. The CBC also spoke to an uninvolved Toronto structural engineer, who said that due to the temporary nature of a tour stage, “it may very well be that the pace of the industry is just too face to follow normal protocols to do their job.”