Red Rocks Death Probed

Denver police are investigating the death of a man who fell about 60 feet from a guard rail during a Ben Harper concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre August 23rd.

Red Rocks Communications Director Ann Williams said the incident took venue staff by surprise.

“Going to a concert at Red Rocks is typically a great, wonderful experience that people treasure. To have a horrible accident like this is really shocking to all of us,” Williams told Pollstar. “We’re really saddened that this happened. We’ve not had an incident like this in the recent past at all.”

Williams said Harper had left the stage for a moment to prepare to do an acoustic set, which some concertgoers mistook as the end of the show and started leaving the amphitheatre.

A witness told police a man in his 20s appeared unsteady – possibly intoxicated – as he pulled himself up on a steel guard rail near the south end of the venue. He lost his balance and fell backward about 60 feet into rocks and bushes.

Security and paramedics came to the man’s aid and administered CPR. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died.

Detectives were assigned to the case but it appeared the man’s death was accidental, according to The Denver Post.

Williams said the concert was fully staffed with five paramedics, 75 event staff, 10 police officers and two fire personnel, which is standard for any event at the 9,250-seat shed.

“The most important thing for everyone to learn is guard rails anywhere are erected for a purpose,” Williams said. “That is for your safety as patrons.”

Harper issued a statement on his Web site the next day after hearing about the death.

“Ben Harper, his band and staff are deeply saddened and at a loss for words. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends who lost a loved one last night.”

– Tina Amendola