The investigation into the accident that killed 33 year-old Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson on Saturday is going to take a while. These things always do. The Ministry of Labour is still looking at the stage collapse at last year's Ottawa Bluesfest.
To be fair, though, an investigation like this is complicated.
Here are some just a few of the questions that need to be answered:
- Who engineered the stage? (Unclear at this point, but it wasn't Radiohead. They don't build their own stages.) What guarantees were made as to its soundness?
- How old were the components used in the structure? Could metal fatigue have been involved?
- What were the stated weight-bearing and weight distribution tolerances for the various components? Were they followed?
- How was the lighting, sound and video gear hung? Was it done correctly as per the tolerance guidelines?
- Was the stated weight of the gear the actual weight?
- Were those in charge of constructing the stage properly trained? How about those involved in flying all that A/V gear?
- Are there any civic/provincial/federal guidelines governing the construction of temporary stages? If so, were they followed?
- Did anyone from any level of government or other official body inspect the construction?
- What does this mean for outdoor concerts using temporary stages?
The Toronto Star has an article that details what goes into building a stage like this. You'll probably have more questions once you read it.
By the way, the Foster the People show set for tomorrow in Downsview Park will go ahead as scheduled. Obviously, they'll use a stage in another area of the park.