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Radiohead Cancel Toronto Show After Stage Technician's Death

By June 17, 2012

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Saturday night was supposed to be the final performance of Radiohead's North American tour, but instead the band's Toronto date at Downsview Park had to be canceled for the most tragic of reasons: an accidental death during rehearsals earlier in the day.

Reuters is reporting that on Saturday afternoon, "the roof of an outdoor stage collapsed during sound checks and rehearsals ... killing one person and injuring three others." It appears that the deceased was a stage technician, and that none of the members of Radiohead were on stage when the accident occurred. As of yet, the technician who was killed has not been identified. (One of the three injured is said to be in critical condition.)

The band took to their website to announce that the show had been canceled "[d]ue to unforeseen circumstances," adding that "Further information is to follow."

Specifics as to what happened have been difficult to ascertain, but Spinner notes that journalist Alan Cross tweeted that "piping/scaffolding holding up the lighting rig collapsed" and that a federal investigation will follow.

It had been a triumphant year for Radiohead. After declining to tour in the wake of the release of 2011's The King of Limbs, the quintet had been busy on the road in 2012, including a set at Coachella. In addition, they had been playing new songs during these dates. But all that is now forgotten in light of this death. All of a sudden, new songs and rock tours suddenly don't seem to matter that much.

Update: Radiohead have confirmed that the name of the man killed in Saturday's accident was Scott Johnson, a drum technician for the group. He was 33. Phil Selway, the band's drummer, wrote on the Radiohead official site, "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."

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Photo: Steve Keros.

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