Thankfully, this is a show that never happened. But instead of crushing the members of Radiohead, an incredibly unlucky drum technician was killed by a crashing, shoddily-constructed stage overhang in pre-show preparations. The sold-out show, originally slated for Toronto’s Downsview Park, was abruptly canceled while investigations ensued.
One year later, serious charges are being filed. According to details emerging this afternoon, Live Nation Canada, Live Nation Ontario Concerts GP, and staging construction partner Optex Staging and Services will collectively face 12 counts related to the incident. The charges, issued by the Ontario Ministry of Labour under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, will be officially unsealed later this month in court proceedings.
An engineer on the project has also apparently been charged with one count.
Specifically, codes call for stage structures to withstand the weight of ‘any load,’ though the Live Nation stage buckled under seemingly-routine light structures, speakers, and other affixed equipment. And, pretty normal weather conditions.
Also of concern is the speed at which this stage was being created (with similar schedules for teardown). A aggressive, overly-rushed schedule could create significant liabilities for Live Nation.
June 20th, 2012: “Sources: Intense Turnaround Pressure Prompted Radiohead Stage Collapse…“
Live Nation media relations contact Jacqueline Peterson has not yet responded to an inquiry from Digital Music News on the charges, or aspects related to the upcoming legal defense. Other statements issued indicate that Live Nation is denying any wrongdoing in the matter, and is preparing to fight all charges.
Proceedings commence at the Ontario Court of Justice on June 27.