On the afternoon of June 16, 2012, just minutes before Radiohead was scheduled to do a soundcheck ahead of their gig at Downsview Park in Toronto, the scaffolding above a specially-constructed stage collapsed. It was holding 27,000 kg of gear.
Scott Johnson, Phil Selway’s drum tech, was onstage at the time. He was killed by a video monitor that weighed 2,270 kg. Three other members of the crew were injured.
What followed was a farcical series of investigations, lawsuits, countersuits, charges, trials and, in the end, a mistrial that left everything unresolved. No one has ever been found accountable.
How? Because in 2016, the stage company, the promoter and the engineer in charge of building the stage had all thirteen charges against them stayed because it took too long to bring everything to trial.
However, almost seven years after the accident, a coroner’s inquest will be held starting Monday (March 25). Running over the next three weeks, some twenty-five witnesses will be called.
This is not a trial. Instead, it’s an investigation into what went wrong that day. Any recommendations will be non-binding. Still, it’s something.
Scott Johnson’s father Ken will testify. There will also be representation from the band. I’ll keep you posted.