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Radiohead Stage in Toronto Collapses – Show Cancelled

Radiohead Stage in Toronto Collapses – Show Cancelled

The stage at Downsview Park in Toronto, Canada has collapsed, where Radiohead were set to perform tonight.
The stage at Downsview Theatre has collapsed at around 4pm. As @Zakea Tweets: “Stage collapsed at #downsview for #Radiohead So scary. So many ambulances.” See @Zakea‘s picture above.

People were not on the site when the accident happened. Doors were going to open an hour later at 5pm for the sold out show. The show has been cancelled soon after. Early reports said three people were injured, one in critical condition. Shortly after one person was pronounced dead. Another was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital in serious condition and the two others were treated for minor injuries and are released. It’s uncertain how the tragedy took place. The police are investigating at the moment. Weather conditions were good. There was only a calm wind at the park at the time. Video of the damaged stage below.

A police statement issued on Twitter said one man in his 30s was pronounced dead at the scene and a 45-year-old man was taken to a local hospital with a non-life-threatening head injury. It said two other males were treated on the scene for less serious injuries. Burrows said investigators were still unsure what caused the mishap, which was under investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Labor and the Toronto police.

Scott Johnson

UPDATE: Reports on social media name Scott Johnson as the one who did not survive the stage collapse. Scott Johnson was Radiohead’s drum tech. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, band and crew.

More on Scott Johnson here, including an interview with Scott and people close to him respond to his death, including Phil Selway.

Toronto police spokesman Sergeant Tim Burrows told Reuters that about 20 people were in the direct vicinity of the stage, conducting rehearsals and sound checks, when it gave way.

“The roof part of the stage collapsed,” Toronto Fire Services spokesman Captain Mike Strapko told Reuters. “It’s like an arch made out of round piping similar to what they use for scaffolding,” he said, adding that the structure was rigged with lighting and other equipment. “So that’s what came down and did crush the one individual.”

Dan Snaith of Caribou, who were going to open for Radiohead, tweeted: “We are profoundly saddened by what happened today. All our sympathy is with the band and crew and the families of those affected.”

At this point, it’s not clear if the band are going to reschedule the show, which was only one of the two Canadian shows of their World Tour. The band played the other Canadian show in Montreal the night before.
For now the 40,000 people can get a refund at point of sale.

Radiohead have issued the following message: “Due to unforeseen circumstances the radiohead show at downsview park tonight has been cancelled.Fans are advised not to make their way to the venue. Refunds will be made at point of purchase. Further information is to follow.”

This is the second time Radiohead have to cancel a show in Toronto. The last time was in 2003 due to a power outage when Radiohead were scheduled to play at Molson Amphitheater. At the rescheduled show at Toronto’s Skydome, which was also the last show of their North American tour, Thom Yorke stopped in the middle of Myxomatosis when a fan passed out. The band quickly resumed.

The 2003 show was rescheduled two months after. This time it might be harder. Radiohead are in the middle of their World Tour. The band move to Europe next, starting with a show in Rome on June 30th. At the moment, the band have no shows planned for August and September.

Purchasers of beer/drink tickets from the Radiohead concert can obtain refunds by bringing or mailing their beer/drink tickets to Downsview Park’s head office. More info here.

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  • my condolence for family lost someone in this accident. sorry for people have this concert cancelled. i have seen it in montreal yesterday and few month ago i almost decide to take vacation and go in this concert too but finally decide to not take my vacation. Sorry for my bad english

  • Unbekievably tragic and disappointing. I’m so sorry for the family of the person who died.

    The band will be devastated. I was hoping for a reschedule but I realized that’s impossible.

    Radiohead may never sound the same again, they may have lost gear that they have been using for years (rhodes, guitars, and ondes martonet to name a few instruments likely damaged), and I wonder how good the backups are of things like Jonny Greenwood’s laptop.

    The crew was probably dead tired after the whole tour and the downsview staff probably screwed something up and they just were on autopilot. I wonder if Radiohead will sue the venue.

    Bands like this must have an insane insurance policy…

    • Jonny never brings his actual Ondes Martenot on tour. It’s a CV controller that Analogue Systems built for him, but I think he has more than one of those.

    • Jonny’s Ondes M is actually made in France for him so yes, there are more. I just wonder how many of the video screens were broken.

    • The French Connection

    • I heard that It was the venue who is at fault for rushing the set-up… it is all just speculation at this point, but I feel so horrible for the loss of life. It could’ve been worse though. A select amount of people were let in early and the death toll would have been greater. Rest In Paradise Scott. I am sending love, light, and good vibes to all those affected.

    • The crew that constructed the stage and the band’s crew on tour are two entirely different groups of people..

  • I’m going to say what everyone is thinking: Thank god Radiohead wasn’t on stage when this happened.

    Don’t say you didn’t think that because that would make you a liar.

    • I thought that and also thought that at least it didn’t happen during the concert. Sadly there was a life lost. It is very disheartening to have someone who also has a family lose their life.

    • What the fuck is wrong with you people? SOMEONE DIED!

    • Honestly, if you tell me you wouldn’t be even a tinge more upset if Radiohead died, or even one of their memebers, then I have to say you’re full of shit. I’m not trying to argue that we shouldn’t mourn the loss of this man because he’s not Radiohead, but really, get off your high horse. Their deaths would impact your life in a far more substantial way than this man dying and you know it.

      I really am sad about the technician dying. I was in the line-up when it happened. I’m still a little shocked by the whole thing. In the car on the way home we definitely talked about the possibility of that happening during the concert. I’m not sure I could handle having front row seats to see my favourite band get crushed by scaffolding. THAT shit would scar me for life. All in all it was a really shitty day, and a horrible thing that happened. I’m probably just trying to improve my mood by imaging it could have been a lot worse.

    • yes i have thinking about that the first second my father say to me how you know your favorite band the concert in toronto are canceled because someone die. i be so scared that be one of the member but in same time that not good what happened there. last year that happen in ontario in a festival and now again. and i dont know since 2 last year that happen more and more for outside concert this kind of accident.

    • Are their lives more important than the person who died?

    • Yes.

    • Dear Moka B,
      This is not true, and does not have to do anything with humble. The actual thinking that one life is more important than another, because of the impact this life might have, because of the tickets sold or the beauty of the music made, leaves me confused. For you, Thom Yorke’s life might be more important, but the other person’s existence alone justifies its right to live, and demonstrates all the beautiful things the other person might have done its life, to other people. Sorry, to sound like a teacher, but you comment is just obviously not well-thought-through. (Think for a minute about organ transplantation – do you want to make lists of who should get one first, depending on the objective meaning of this person to the world? Do you wan to say, that Steve Jobs has more importance than Radiohead, who has more importance than a medical doctor himself, who has more importance than a worker on stage?)

      Thanks for reading this.

    • But you’re bringing it down to a level that isn’t the complete sum total of reality. Of course, on a personal, one-to-one level, every person is equal and no one is technically more important on that level than anyone else. But that is only one part of it. On a symbolic level, which, however much you want to deny it, does matter, there are more important people in the world.

      For example, The President of the United States receives an immense amount of protection. Arguably more than anyone in the world. This isn’t because Barack Obama on a personal level is more important than Joe Schmo walking down the street. It’s because he is the President of the United States and symbolicly that position is more important.

      The President of the United States, the Dalai Lama, CEO of Apple, Gandhi, George Carlin, etc. all have a symbolic meaning that the average person does not. When my mother died it was the worst thing that ever happened in my life. But it didn’t matter to you because you didn’t know her and she wasn’t a symbol in your life.

      So, while Radiohead’s drum tech dying, right before Father’s Day as well if he has children, is bad news and always tragic to hear and is the worst thing in the world for a select amount of people, namely his friends and family, it is not going to be a worldwide day of remembrance for anyone but those people. The world didn’t change significantly because of his death.

      That’s how the world works and it will never be the fictional utopia you and many people believe it should be in your heart. There is idealism and realism. And I’m just being real.

    • Faketree already answered for me. In an ethical level we all deserve the same rights and importance. But let’s be realistic, yes, Steve Jobs was more important than Thom Yorke, who is more important than a technician or an anonymous doctor. But I can’t say if the technician is less influential than the doctor because I’ve no idea of how important they are in their fields.
      This might be a politically incorrect statement, I’m aware of it, but all societies have ranks of importance and value for different persons. Don’t be so naïve. You can bet your ass that if some sort of imminent catastrophe was about to end the world as we know it and there was only place for 200 people in a bunker underground somewhere they wouldn’t be picking John Does to survive us.

    • I find it completely idiotic that this would be your thought. Or to accuse others that if they didn’t then they’re “liars”. I never once thought it and I would hope you would think otherwise.

    • Liar.

    • I’m sorry but that is total B.S. Of course, someone died. It happens. People die every day. People die in HORRIBLE ways every day. But you go on with your life either not hearing about it, or not caring too much because you didn’t know that person. A person was shot a week ago about 5 blocks from my apartment. This is horrible news, for a small amount of people. If Radiohead was on stage and each and every one of them died, that would be horrible news for MILLIONS of people. It would be all over the news. People would be crying. Putting out flowers in various places around the world. It’d become a national holiday in Britain. All that stuff. To equate the life of an anonymous person dying with Radiohead, or even one person from Radiohead, dying is just lying to yourself.

      I’m sure a lot of people died the day that Kurt Cobain died. But his death affected millions of people. I remember that day. I woke up and got ready for school. I was a sophmore in high school at the time. I walked downstairs and my Mom showed me an article in the paper and said, ‘isn’t this the guy from that band that you like?’. Why? Because he made a difference in more peoples lives than the average person.

      I’m sure a lot of people died the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Didn’t matter. Because Dr. King affected and changed the lives of millions of people, if not an entire nation. His death matters more than the average person.

      It’s just the way it is.

    • I technically don’t disagree with all of this concept, but need to point out you just compared Kurt Cobain and Martin Luther King Jr., or Radiohead and Martin Luther King Jr… not sure that’s the right approach…

    • Glad I wasn’t the only one.

    • Let’s face it. The real reason behind your comment was for your own benefit. You base the value of their lives on what they give you. So long as Radiohead puts out another album or does a live show for you is the basis of your value system. This man, aside from him being a drum tech for the band, never gave you anything so therefore, his life is expendable in your value system. This, I’m afraid, doesn’t say a whole lot for people with your shared view.

  • So there’s no way they’ll come back to Toronto on this tour?

    I’m fucking gutted.

    • Tell me about it…. I flew out from Calgary.

  • I just hope the family, friends, and band members can move forward…they can replace equipment…you can’t replace the effect something like this has on those involved…very sad indeed…

    • So true!

  • This is not O.K. This does not Compute. Shocking and awfully sad. Regards to his family, regards to everyone involved who lost something.

  • Terrible news. My thoughts are with all those who were affected.

    I highly doubt the band will be harmed when it comes to instruments and stuff. They surely have backups for all controller and lighting equipment. Plus, Caribou was opening, so Radiohead’s gear was likely off the stage, unless they were actually about to soundcheck.

    But I fear what’s going on in the band’s minds right now. They must be feeling devastated, and somehow guilty (Pearl Jam in Roskilde 2000 comes to mind). I just hope they will be able to get through this.

    • If the man who died on the stage during the collapse was Radiohead’s drum tech it seems absurd to suggest that Radiohead’s equipment was not on stage.

      Still, replacing damaged equipment is probably not a major concern.

    • Most of the headliners gear is always on the stage while the opener is playing.. But nonetheless, for Radiohead it’s replaceable.

  • very sad that the show was canceled as it was easily going to be the highlight of my summer be a huge fan, but in light of the tragedy that has happened my loss is miniscule in comparison to the life lost and the health of those injured. My heart and prayers go out to them and there families. I pray that those injured recover well and without permanent injury. My heart also goes out to the band as it must be difficult to lose a member of your crew who I am sure was like a family member. Just sadness all round..

  • Whats wrong with what Ailata said?

    • Thanks, Holio. As soon as I read the news about this, the crew member was alive, but in critical condition. As a fan of over 15 yrs, I only want everything wonderful for them so I can keep bragging about why they are the best. I was really rooting for the crew member to recover. I saw them in Tampa and it really looked frightening climbing up rope ladders to work up there.

  • It is always so sad to hear these news…

  • This was a big shame for everyone, and sympathies to the man’s family…

    The one semi-positive that came was that all the disappointed Radiohead fans got to go see the free Flaming Lips show downtown instead. The Lips even did a nice talk for rHead and then covered ‘Knives Out’ during their set.

  • Our hearts go out to Scott and his family and Radiohead. God bless you all.

  • […] 1,159 Makes you wonder if there are new designs or materials that are at the root of these problems. It's happening way too frequently as of late. Apparently it was one of the drum tech's that was lost in this incident. Tragic indeed. Radiohead Stage in Toronto Collapses – Show Cancelled […]

  • Sending love and condolences to the families of those hurt and to the band. Please keep us posted if Scott had a favorite charity we can donate to in his memory, or if a memorial fund is established.

  • Of courese I’m glad noeone from the band was hurt, because I’m a huge fan, but i’m equally devastated to hear that someone was killed.
    R.I.P Scott Johnson.

  • This website makes me sick… someone dies at a tragic accident, and there are only 30 comments 24 hours later. I’ve seen more emotion here after the omission of “EIIRP” from a setlist… it turns out the man whi died was also directly involved with their touring activities. So sad.

    • There are over 50 pages worth of comments in the actual message board, amongst a lot of ateasers who may actually know each other.

  • The remembered are not always important people;
    Important people are not always remembered.

    Famous people are inspired and impacted by unsung heroes whose names were never mentioned or plated in gold.

  • We were just heading to the gate at Downsview Park when the accident happened. Here’s my take on the scene outside and afterwards.

  • Omg… Come on people. Whoever died that day, show some respect. Spare us the creepy debate about who deserves to survive or not. Someone died. Death is always horrible. Period.

  • My heart goes out to the band, Scott’s family, the fans, and all of us who were there when the stage fell down. I drove 16hours straight to see this show, and I will drive 16hours again when they are ready to come back!

  • god how could anyone survive that collapse its HUGE! condolences of course to the families of the injured and deceased such a tragedy maybe rh could do a concert in tribute to scott at some point?


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