Thom Yorke speaks out after trial over stage collapse that killed Radiohead’s drum tech is brought to a standstill

'Words utterly fail me'

Thom Yorke has spoken out in anger after the court case over the stage collapse that killed Radiohead‘s drum technician was brought to a standstill.

Back in 2012, the band’s drum technician Scott Johnson died after the roof of the stage collapsed on him ahead of a concert in Toronto. 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.


Emergency personnel work near the scene of a collapsed stage at Downsview Park in Toronto on Saturday, June 16, 2012. The top of a stage being set up for a concert by the band Radiohead collapsed, killing one of the stage workers preparing for the event. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

However, after experiencing years of delays, now a judge has now ‘stayed’ the trial. This means that no charges will be brought forward – but could be revived within one year.

“It is important to emphasize that timely justice is not just important to persons facing charges,” said Ontario judge Ann Nelson, reports The Globe. “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.”

Support act from the show Caribou spoke out after the ruling, writing on Twitter that “as someone who was standing behind the stage when it collapsed and would have been on it an hour later…this is complete bullshit.”

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke later simply responded with “words utterly fail me.”


Denying all wrongdoing at the time the charges first came to light, Live Nation said: “We absolutely maintain that Live Nation and our employees did everything possible to ensure the safety of anyone who was on or near the stage involved in the tragic incident that led to the unfortunate death of Mr. Scott Johnson.”

Paying tribute at the time of Scott Johnson’s death, Radiohead drummer Phil Selway said:

“We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague. 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.”