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The accident at a OMD concert at SXSW

It can be really very dangerous to go to a concert these days! Friday night several people were taken to the University Medical Center Brackenridge after a 350-pound camera boom fell from 10 feet high! Ouch, that must hurt! Some people, who were waiting for a performance by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the SXSW music festival in Austin, were injured but their lives were not in danger.
According to some fans, the incident happened just after McCluskey had arrived on stage at 1 am, joking about being too old to play this late. After it happened, he immediately asked for a doctor to assist the people who were hurt and OMD left the stage.

The most unexpected part of the story is that, after cleaning up the blood, the crowd moved forward again and the band performed a set, shortened from 60 to 30 minutes, dedicating the performance to those unlucky people. SXSW spokesman Roland Swenson declared: ‘We're pretty upset, this is our 25th year and we've never had anyone permanently injured. It's disheartening’.

On Saturday afternoon, McCluskey posted on the OMD message board:

‘Once we realized what had actually happened, and that there we 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!’

He added that SXSW was a really bad experience with ‘Strange gigs, at stupid times, in crap venues with impossible turn around times.’

And he finished up saying they will never return to SXSW and that ‘it is now so big that in reality it is a waste of time for new or unsigned bands as people only have time to find the gigs by bands that they have heard of’.

OMD is scheduled to play at Amoeba on Thursday 24th, and I expect a large crowd. Should I take my hard hat? I’m kidding, and OMD seem to be down-to-earth people by the way they reacted to this disastrous event.


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