Before the first note was played at O.M.D.‘s set at Stubbs during last weekend’s SXSW, a camera boom fell on the crowd, injuring four and postponing the concert.
At first, the extent of the injuries was not obvious, as O.M.D. frontman Andy McCluskey joked “Should we play, or wait for the lawsuits?” When people were slow -- or even unable -- to get up, however, things got serious. Medics and security rushed to the scene, as O.M.D. left the stage to wait for everything to be sorted out. The camera boom, which had been sweeping above the heads of concertgoers the whole week, was also carried away.
After the injured had been cleared, the band played a shortened set, dedicating the performance to those who were hurt. Said SXSW spokesman Roland Swenson, “We’re pretty upset. This is our 25th year and we’ve never had anyone permanently injured. It’s disheartening.”
O.M.D. singer Andy McCluskey prepared this statement afterward:
“Once we realised what had actually happened, and that there were people who needed medical treatment it was obvious that we could not start playing. I guess that if there was any ‘luck’ involved.. it was the fact that the camera crane fell before we actually started.. it would have been much more confusing and slower to resolve if we were into the set. I expected the concert to be cancelled. We just waited to see if the injured were going to be OK.. (I hear that they are OK). Once the police said it was fine to play we decided that we should at least do something for those who had paid money and waited until 1.30AM.. Even though the 2AM curfew would not be pushed back! It felt rather weird at the beginning, but slowly the band and audience started to re-connect.. it was actually a great 7 song set! And an even greater relief that no-one is permanently hurt!
It was very unfortunate that this accident had to occur during SXSW right as we walked out on stage. We are thankful that no one was hurt too badly and we hope for all that were injured to make a swift and full recovery. We plan to get in touch directly with the injured people.
Please note that we have been misquoted in some of the media, slandering Stubbs, which is not the case. We unfortunately had our set cut at another venue in a very unprofessional manner earlier in the week and that information was misconstrued with our statement about the accident at Stubbs.”