Trampled to Death

t about 7:15 on the evening of December 3rd, 1979, Larry Magid sat down to dinner with Frank Wood in the luxurious Beehive Club, a private club in the upper reaches of Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum. Wood, who is general manager of the city's premier rock station, WEBN-FM, remarked to Magid, who is head of Electric Factory of Philadelphia (one of the country's leading rock promoters), that the crowd streaming onto the coliseum floor far below them for that evening's Electric Factory-promoted Who concert seemed to be quite orderly. A “happy crowd,” he said, not at all like the rabble that had disrupted previous “chain-saw concerts” there, like the Outlaws' fighting crowd and Led Zeppelin‘s mob. The crowd below them was sprinting to get as close as possible to the stage, in the grand tradition of “festival” or unreserved seating. By agreement of the coliseum management (the coliseum is privately owned), Electric Factory and the Who, mostly general-admission tickets had been sold: supposedly 3578 reserved seats in the loges at eleven dollars each and 14,770 general-admission tickets at ten dollars each.

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