June 25, 2012 11:52

Experts call for change to industry guidelines following Radiohead stage collapse tragedy

An industry veteran says steel roofs should become standard following the collapse at a Radiohead concert

Photo: Dean Chalkley Next Previous

Photo Gallery: Radiohead
Photo: Dean Chalkley

Industry veteran Lars Brogaard has called for a fundamental change to stage erection guidelines following this month's fatal stage collapse at a Radiohead concert in Toronto.

Brogaard, who has been production manager for Rod Stewart since 1985, recommended that the use of steel roofs should become an industry standard.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, he insisted: "You need to go to steel. The shows nowadays are getting heavier and heavier with the lighting and the video screens. These aluminium roofs, they can't take the weight."

According to Brogaard, the roof above the stage at Toronto's Downsview Park appeared to made of aluminium, which is still commonly used in North America because, being lighter than steel, it is cheaper to transport.

Drum technician Scott Johnson was killed after a stage collapsed an hour before Radiohead's concert in Toronto on June 16. Three other people were injured in the incident, which has forced the band to reschedule seven European shows while they await replacement equipment.

Four companies, including concert promoter Live Nation and Radiohead's Ticker Tape Touring, have been asked to comply with an investigation by the Canadian government into the stage collapse.

According to veteran promoter John Scher, standard operating procedure for large outdoor concerts such as Radiohead's Toronto show suggest that Live Nation would have been responsible for the erection of the stage.

Also speaking to Rolling Stone, Scher said: "It's not a theatre, it's not an arena, so you've got to go to a company that builds outdoor stages. Hopefully you'll check and make sure they've got the experience and references. It's the promoter's responsibility to be able to hire somebody who can deliver the specifications that the production manager and the act ask for."

It is not known how long the investigation into the stage collapse will take, but spokesman Matt Blajer said: "This is a very complex one and it'll take some time."

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