Radiohead Calls Inquest Verdict 'Frustratingly Insufficient'

Radiohead on Thursday called the verdict in an inquest into the 2012 death of the band’s drum tech Scott Johnson as “frustratingly insufficient.”

The 33-year-old was killed when a stage at Downsview Park in Toronto collapsed before Radiohead was scheduled to perform.

“The Inquest into the death of our friend and crew member, Scott Johnson, has now concluded. The Inquest itself was conducted in a constructive, thorough and fair-minded way. It revealed the negligence and failings that led to Scott’s death,” read a statement, which was shared on social media.

“A verdict of Accidental Death was returned, which feels frustratingly insufficient given that the stage collapse was shown to be preventable.

“The Jury have made sound and practical recommendations to prevent such an accident happening again and to ensure the future safety of show crews and audiences. It’s up to all of us now to make sure that these recommendations are implemented.”

The jury spelled out 28 non-binding recommendations, including one to create a working group to set best practices for the live performance industry.

Charges against concert promoter Live Nation, scaffolding company Opted Staging and Services, and engineer Domenic Cugliari were stayed in 2017 because the case took too long to go to trial.

At the time, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke tweeted: “words utterly fail me …”

At the inquest, drummer Phil Selway said the band felt “anger and frustration” at the “complete failure” of the Canadian justice system.

Selway described the lasting impact the incident had on the band and its crew – even adjusting its stage designs to mitigate risks and hiring an engineer to verify that their stages have been properly constructed.

“The collapse has made us vulnerable where we used to feel secure,” he said.