Tragedy has hit the festival one week before opening day.
A Coachella stagehand has died whilst working on some rigging at this year’s festival, it is being reported.
According to TMZ, the tragedy took place Saturday morning (April 6) while the stagehand was working on a stage at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The victim was climbing the stage scaffolding before falling 60 feet to his death, eyewitnesses have said.
While it’s unclear what caused the fall, sources have said that the worker was not clipped into a safety harness as he attempted to work on some rigging.
Local authorities have confirmed that they received a report about the “industrial accident” at around 9:30am Saturday morning. Emergency services arrived on the Coachella festival grounds shortly after. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
The circumstances surrounding the worker’s death are under investigation, said a police spokesperson.
Goldenvoice, the production company behind Coachella, released a statement Saturday afternoon, confirming the death and expressing its grief over the loss, describing the worker as “a friend, a family member.”
“Today, Goldenvoice lost a colleague, a friend, a family member,” the statement read. “Our friend fell while working on a festival stage. It is with heavy hearts and tremendous difficulty that we confirm his passing. He has been with our team for 20 years in the desert and was doing what he loved. He was a hard-working and loving person that cared deeply about his team. As our lead rigger, he was responsible for the countless incredible shows that have been put on at the festival. We will miss him dearly.”
The last Coachella-related death occurred in 2014, when a woman collapsed and died at a local hospital from an apparent drug overdose.
Coachella 2019 kicks off next weekend (April 12-14), and will feature appearances by Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, Tame Impala, Janelle Monae, The 1975, BLACKPINK, Pusha-T, KiD CuDi, Juice WRLD, Solange, Khalid, Kanye West, and more.