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Subject: Archive: 11 killed at Who concert, Dec. 3, 1979


Author:
In Cincinnati, O.
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Date Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 01:08:06pm

On December 3, 1979, 11 teenagers and young adults were killed by compressive asphyxia and 26 other people were injured in a rush for seating at the opening of a sold-out rock concert by the English rock band The Who.

On that evening, there were a total of 18,348 ticketed fans attending, which included 14,770 in general admission seats. The concert was using festival seating, where seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

When the waiting fans outside the Coliseum heard the band performing a late sound check, they thought that the concert was beginning and tried to rush into the still-closed doors. Some at the front of the crowd were either trampled or squeezed to death standing up as those pushing from behind were unaware that the doors were still closed. Only a few doors were in operation that night, and there are reports that management did not open more doors due to union restrictions and the concern of people gate-crashing the ticket turnstiles.

As a result, the remaining concerts of 1979, Blue Öyster Cult on December 14 and Aerosmith on December 21, were canceled and concert venues across North America switched to reserved seating or changed their rules about festival seating. Cincinnati immediately outlawed festival seating at concerts. After establishment of a crowd control task force by Cincinnati mayor Ken Blackwell, the first concert held at the facility after the tragedy was ZZ Top with the Rockets on March 21, 1980, on ZZ Top's Expect No Quarter Tour.

On August 4, 2004, the Cincinnati City Council unanimously overturned the ban because it placed the city at a disadvantage for booking concerts. Many music acts prefer festival seating because it can allow the most enthusiastic fans to get near the stage and generate excitement for the rest of the crowd. The city had previously made a one-time exception to the ban, allowing festival seating for a Bruce Springsteen concert on November 12, 2002. Cincinnati was, for a time, the only city in the United States to outlaw festival seating altogether.

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40 years?? Where has a the time gone?LemnpiperTuesday, December 03, 04:05:50pm


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