‘The Who’ announce concert return to Cincinnati

Remembering 'The Who' concert tragedy 40 years later

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Forty years after 11 people infamously died in a stampede at The Who concert in Cincinnati, the band has announced they will return to the Queen City for a show.

The concert will be April 23 at Northern Kentucky University’s BB&T Arena. It will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available on Ticketmaster.

A statement on the band’s website reads:

“The Who’s April 23rd show in Cincinnati will have added historical significance as it will be the first time the band will be performing in the city since eleven lives were tragically lost as the concert crowd waited to get into The Who’s concert on December 3, 1979. The historic show was announced last night by local Cincinnati TV station WCPO after airing a documentary special commemorating the 40th anniversary of the tragedy – The Who: The Night That Changed Rock. Pete and Roger were both interviewed for the special program along with long-time manager Bill Curbishley. The Who will make a donation from the concert to the P.E.M. Memorial, the organisation that was founded to honour friends and classmates that lost their lives at the December 3rd, 1979 concert, providing college scholarships for students at Finneytown High School.”

The 1979 concert was among the deadliest moments in live music history.

Thousands of people were outside Riverfront Coliseum for hours waiting for the British rock band to perform songs like “My Generation” and "Baba O’Riley.' It was not until fans started hearing music coming from inside the Coliseum, that they all rushed in at once.

That was when 11 people were crushed to their deaths.

FOX19 NOW’s media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer say at the time, seating inside the arena was on a first-come, first-served basis. So fans were rushing to get to their seats. A lack of preparation was also the cause of the stampede.

The band did not find out about it until after the concert.

Of the people who died were Finneytown students Stephan Preston, Jackie Eckerle, and Karen Morrison.

In 2010, a scholarship fund, P.E.M. Memorial Scholarship fund, was founded to honor them.

It was not until May 2018 when lead singer Roger Daltrey stopped by the Queen City again. He paid his respects to the ones who died and also met the organizers of the P.E.M. Memorial Scholarship fund.

According to the fund's website, three scholarships are awarded annually to eligible Finneytown High School seniors who are looking to major in the arts or music.

“We’re turning a negative situation into a positive thing,” said P.E.M. committee member, Steve Bentz. "They all loved the arts.”

Our partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer say the concert is the deadliest in U.S. history.

“He [Daltrey] does mourn December 3rd every year," said P.E.M. member Fred Wittenbaum.

Since 1979, The Who have not returned to Cincinnati for a concert, but have come for solo concerts.

Copyright 2019 WXIX. All rights reserved.