WHEN: Thursday, December 3 at 7PM
WHERE: On plaza between arena and ballpark on the riverfront, Cincinnati
WHO: Family members, survivors from concert and other impacted by the event; Mayor John Cranley, Patti Collins, Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation and Bootsy Collins Foundation
(Cincinnati – OH) On the 30th anniversary of the tragedy outside Riverfront Coliseum before The Who concert on 12/3/79, a group of individuals, including Bootsy Collins, gathered for a vigil and made plans to install a permanent memorial at the riverfront location. Every anniversary year since, a group has gathered (some had been going every year before that 30th anniversary); family members of the victims, self-identified survivors of the tragedy, attendees and supporters worked with the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation to eventually install a memorial marker to honor the lives lost and those impacted. Notably Kasey Ladd, Mike Babb, Tom Brown and Rick Schweitzer were the core group, however, there were many others who participated along the way.
During last year’s 35th anniversary, a city official joined us for the first time – Mayor John Cranley – declaring that a marker would go up on his watch. Thanks to his leadership, new participants helped secure private funding to pay for the marker so that we can now dedicate the two-sided marker on Thursday, December 3, 2015.
The dedication on the plaza will be followed by a reception at the historic Herzog space (811 Race Street, Floor 2) – where the memorial planning group had often met over the years.
Beyond the 11 individuals who lost their lives on 12/3/79, it is estimated that up to 2,000 people were in the crowd crush, of whom many still suffer from the trauma.
The text of the two-sided marker comes from years of working through appropriate language and working with families of the 11 lost lives – the Ladd, Bowes, and Burns families for example. It also tries to address the misstatements of the event, like wrongly calling this a stampede or trampling, by rightfully calling it a crowd crush. Survivors from the concert and first responders were involved as well. Many people to thank.
Peter Bowes 18 Wyoming OH
Connie Sue Burns 21 Miamisburg OH
Jacqueline Eckerle 15 Finneytown OH
David Heck 19 Highland Heights KY
Teva Rae Ladd 27 Newtown OH
Karen Morrison 15 Finneytown OH
Stephan Preston 19 Finneytown OH
Philip Snyder 20 Franklin OH
Bryan Wagner 17 Fort Thomas KY
James Warmoth 21 Franklin OH
The Who Concert
Eleven concertgoers, trapped
in a crush of people, died
at the southwest plaza
entrance to Riverfront Coliseum
waiting to see The Who.
Many others were injured in
what was the deadliest concert
tragedy in United States history.
The tragedy spurred passage of a
crowd safety ordinance, which
became a model for the world.