By Clive Young. New York (June 18, 2012)—A stage roof collapsed hours prior to a Radiohead concert in Toronto’s Downsview Park Saturday, killing drum tech Scott Johnson, 33, and injuring three others.
On its website, Radiohead paid tribute to the fallen crew member, stating, “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 was trapped under the debris of the fallen roof and died at the scene. Toronto Police told the press Sunday that two others treated at the scene were OK and that a third man, who had received a non-life threatening head injury, was getting better.
Viewing video of the stage post-collapse, it appears that the L-Acoustics K1-based PA, provided on its North American tour by longtime vendor Firehouse Productions (Red Hook, NY), was hung in staging separate to the roof which fell.
The band had been set to play the last show of its North American tour that evening before a sold-out crowd of 40,000 people. While the spate of stage roof collapses that plagued the concert industry last summer were all weather-related, reportedly winds at Downsview Park were calm at the time—roughly 4 PM—when the accident took place. The collapse itself was preceded, according to witnesses, by popping sounds similar to fireworks.
Investigations began Saturday, according to Toronto Police, which tweeted that forensic officers were conducting a joint investigation with the coroner’s office and the Ontario Ministry of Labor.