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19yo stagehand killed in accident at A7X show

A 19-year-old stagehand lost his life last night in a tragic accident at an Avenged Sevenfold show in Stuttgart.

The man was killed during load-out at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle (15,500-cap.) when another crewman, a 26-year-old, fell on him from 20m (66ft) while taking down the band’s lighting truss. The other man is in critical condition in hospital.

According to Bild, it the first fatal incident at the venue since its opening in 1983. The paper also identifies the victim as ‘Marvin P’.

In a joint statement, Avenged Sevenfold sent their “thoughts and prayers to the man in the hospital, both families involved, all of the local Live Nation crew and everyone else whose lives have been affected by this terrible accident”.

“This is such a stark reminder of how quickly an accident can happen and lives shattered in the process”

“We love our crew so much, as well as the many local staff who are essential to our show every night, wherever we are around the world,” it reads. “This is such a stark reminder of how quickly an accident can happen and lives shattered in the process.”

Support act Disturbed dedicated “the rest of this tour to our fallen brothers”. “The horror and heartbreak felt by everyone on the tour is beyond words,” they wrote on Facebook.

Tonight’s show, at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan, has been cancelled due to illness.

 


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UMG launches own VR app with A7X show

Though its previously announced partnership with iHeartMedia has apparently yet to bear fruit, Universal Music Group (UMG) is upping its experiments with virtual reality (VR) with the launch of a dedicated app, VRTGO, in partnership with its subsidiary Capitol Records and VR production company VRLive.

The new platform will launch officially tomorrow (27 October) with a live-streamed VR performance by Capitol artists Avenged Sevenfold. The show will be shot by Nokia OZO VR cameras, which also record 3D/spatial audio.

“VRTGO is a truly immersive and creative platform for our artists to tell their stories and invite their fans around the world to experience live performances and music videos like never before,” says Deborah Hyacinth, UMG’s senior vice-president of digital marketing innovation. “We’ve employed state-of-the-art technology to make VRTGO a cross-device platform and home to some of the world’s best VR content.”

“Virtual reality is destined to change the media landscape, which will enable users to not just view entertainment – rather, it allows them to experience it”

VRLive’s CEO’s, Heiner Lippman, adds: “We are excited about our partnership with Universal Music Group, as it gives us the opportunity to provide the viewing audience with unprecedented levels of access. Virtual reality is destined to change the media landscape, which will enable users to not just view entertainment – rather, it allows them to experience it, and VRLive will continue to transform how people view and interact with the world around them.”

Live Nation signed a similar agreement with NextVR in May that will be see select shows shot and distributed in virtual reality. A Nielsen study earlier this month revealed that early adopters of VR are big consumers of live music, outspending the average concertgoer by 195%.

 


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Lightning claims another festival scalp

The storm-hit 2016 festival season claimed another victim last weekend in the form of metal festival Houston Open Air in Texas.

On Saturday afternoon the festival site, in the 350-acre NRG Park in Houston, was evacuated due to concerts over lightning, with festivalgoers told to take shelter at the nearby NRG Center (80,000-cap.) stadium or in their cars. The festival resumed later, albeit without a number of acts, including Anthrax and Sevendust.

Sunday was called off altogether, with a statement from the festival reading: “The forecast calls for lightning in the immediate area on and off all day, making it unsafe to human life to reopen the festival”.

“If we were fly-by-night promoters and wanted to roll the dice and take our chances, I could have been calling you guys this morning having a completely different conversation”

Due to headline on Sunday were Avenged Sevenfold and Deftones, the former of whom played an indoor show at the White Oak (1,500-cap.) instead:

Festival booker Gary Spivack, of Danny Wimmer Presents, told local radio station 94.5 The Buzz: “We can all handle the rain but when there is lightning and wind it becomes more difficult. […] God forbid there is a lot of electricity rolling around at a festival.

“If we were fly-by-night promoters and wanted to roll the dice and take our chances, I could have been calling you guys this morning having a completely different conversation.”

 


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