Radiohead call for answers at their first Toronto show since the 2012 stage collapse that killed their drum tech

"The silence is fucking deafening.”

Radiohead have called for accountability at their first Toronto show since the 2012 stage collapse that killed their drum tech.

The band were preparing to play a show at Downsview Park in Toronto when the roof of the stage collapsed on Scott Johnson. The 33-year-old from Doncaster also worked with the likes of Keane and many other touring artists. Three other people were also injured.

In 2013, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour brought legal charges against Live Nation, scaffolding company Optex Staging and Services, and engineer Domenic Cugliari under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Live Nation denied any wrongdoing in the proceedings.


Speaking onstage last night at their first Toronto show since the incident, Thom Yorke said: “We wanted to do a show in Toronto, the stage collapsed, killing one of our colleagues and friends.

“The people who should be held accountable are still not being held accountable in your city. The silence is fucking deafening.”

Yorke then asked the crowd to hold a moment’s silence in Johnson’s memory, before playing Karma Police.

Yorke’s passionate call for accountability echoes similar comments from Radiohead drummer Philip Selway recently.

Appearing on BBC Newsnight, the Radiohead drummer said that there’s been “no real answers” about the incident. “It’s very frustrating. The court case broke down on a technicality,” he said. “So there have been no real answers. Without the answers we can’t ensure that an accident like this can’t happen again.”


Last September, Thom Yorke spoke out after a judge ‘stayed’ the trial, meaning that no charges will be brought forward.

“It is important to emphasize that timely justice is not just important to persons facing charges,” said Ontario judge Ann Nelson. “It is also important to our society at large. No doubt, this decision will be incomprehensible to Mr. Johnson’s family, who can justifiably complain that justice has not been done.”