On April 6 a man died on Coachella campgrounds in Indio, California, according to Pitchfork. The man, 49-year-old San Diego native Christopher Griffin, was a stagehand working on setup for the festival when he fell from the stage scaffolding to the ground and sustained fatal injuries. He died right on the scene just after 9:30 AM, according to the Riverside County Coroner’s Office. The man worked as the lead rigger for Goldenvoice, the company who produces Coachella, and had been with the team for 20 years.
The company said in a statement, “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.”
As reported by Indio police spokesperson Ben Guitron, the worker “fell from a roof and perished at the scene.” The incident has been reported to the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
In another statement, representatives for Coachella said of the incident:
“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 twenty 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.”
The last death to occur on Coachella grounds was back in 2014 when a festival attendee collapsed and later died after an apparent drug overdose.
Coachella weekend one begins this weekend on Friday, April 12 at the Empire Polo Club. Weekend two will be April 19-21.