Coachella is still a few days away from going live, but tragedy has already struck the popular two-week music festival this year.
According to media reports out on Saturday, a worker who had been helping to set up stages at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California has died after falling from stage scaffolding earlier this morning.
According to a report out this afternoon in TMZ, the man was climbing stage scaffolding to help set up one of the stages at the venue when he fell about 60 feet to the ground, to his death. He apparently had not been clipped in at the time — meaning he had no safety harness attached to a cable during his climb or eventual fall.
Festival officials on scene apparently called Indio Police to report the accident at about 9:30 a.m. this morning, and while police and fire units both responded immediately to the venue, the man was pronounced dead on the scene.
According to the Indio Police, the circumstances surrounding the man’s death are still under investigation. His name has not yet been released to the public, and Goldenvoice — the production company that puts on Coachella every year — has not responded to media outlets that have reached out for comment.
Regardless, this death marks a very, very rare tragedy in Coachella history; the music festival has a two-plus decade history with hundreds of thousands of people attending both weekends every single year, and yet deaths are few and far between.
In 2014, a female festival attendee died of an apparent drug overdose, which marked what was widely believed to be the first-ever death to occur in the desert musical festival’s history. That would make this one the second death related to the festival — which, while sad and tragic in its own right, is a remarkably low total considering how many people are connected to the festival and how long it’s been operating out in the desert near Palm Springs, California.
Clearly, what happened today is really rare, especially as far as Coachella is concerned, and so we can only send our thoughts, prayers, and support to those affected by it. Such a sad, unlikely, and seemingly random event that we can only hope will remain an isolated incident. Sending lots of love to those on the grounds setting up today, too — and here’s wishing for a safe and healthy music festival that’s set to start its two-week run on Friday.
R.I.P. to the worker involved…
[Image via WENN]