The Coachella festival takes place this weekend, which means that a lot of people are currently hard at work getting things set up and ready to go for the upcoming first weekend. Before the festival has even begun, though, tragedy has struck: A stagehand died after an accident while setting up for the fest on Saturday morning.
TMZ reports that eyewitnesses saw the man fell about 60 feet while climbing some scaffolding, as he was not clipped into a safety harness that could have prevented him from falling. An Indio Police spokesperson said the accident was reported at around 9:30 a.m. PT, that police and fire units responded, and that the man was pronounced dead on site. The spokesperson also said the death is under investigation.
In a statement confirming the news, Goldenvoice, which is responsible for the festival, said the stagehand was their lead rigger and had been with them for 20 years:
“Today, Goldenvoice lost a colleague, a friend, a family member. Our friend fell while working on a festival stage. It is with heavy hearts and tremendous difficulty that we confirm his passing. He has been with our team for 20 years in the desert and was doing what he loved. He was a hard-working and loving person that cared deeply about his team. As our lead rigger, he was responsible for the countless incredible shows that have been put on at the festival. We will miss him dearly.”
This isn’t the only production problem Coachella has faced in recent days, as Solange just canceled her scheduled performance ‘due to major production delays.”