Man Falls to Death During Dead & Company Concert at New York’s Citi Field

The outside of Citi Field is seen in New York on Aug. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Julia Weeks)

UPDATE: The man has been identified as Ian Crystal, NYPD confirmed to Variety. According to his LinkedIn page, he was the co-founder and CEO of liquor company Evolution Spirits Inc. 

A 46-year-old man attending a Dead & Company concert at Citi Field in New York City on Aug. 20 fell off of a balcony and died.

The New York Police Department confirmed to Variety that first responders were called to the stadium at about 9:05 p.m on Friday night. The man was then transported in critical condition to the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Queens, where he was pronounced dead. The NYPD stated that his injuries were consistent with a fall from an elevated position. 

The New York Daily News reported that the man had attempted to do a flip off of the balcony, though the NYPD did not confirm this detail. An investigation into the matter is ongoing. People present at the concert told the New York Post that they believed he was under the influence of alcohol.

“We are aware of a tragic incident which sadly resulted in a fatality last night,” Mets Events said in a statement to Variety. “Our deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to the attendee’s loved ones.”

Friday’s concert was a part of a 31-date tour of Dead & Company, which is among many events nationwide now requiring attendees to present either proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours prior to entry, except in cities where law prevents such protocol. Additionally, fans without proof of vaccination may not enter the general admission pit section, even with negative test results. Pit ticket holders without vaccine documentation will be transferred to other sections of the venue.

Entrance to Citi Field last night for the Dead & Company show slowed down considerably due to mandatory security and vaccination checks, leaving many of the seats empty as the band opened with Sam Cooke’s “Good Times” and followed with Grateful Dead classics like “Bertha” and “Ramble on Rose.” Dead & Company features three founding members –vocalist/guitarist Bob Weir and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — and three younger players headed by singer/lead guitarist John Mayer. They’re rounded out by Jeff Chimenti on keyboards and Oteil Burbridge on bass.

It appeared the band was paying homage to their show in Bronx, N.Y. at Gaelic Park on Aug. 26, 1971. Eight of the songs on the set list were repeats from that 50-year-old concert, including “Casey Jones,” “Uncle John’s Band” and a lengthy psychedelic take on fan-favorite “China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider.”

With the heat and humidity requiring shorts and tie-dyed t-shirts emblazoned with Dead imagery, the band worked at a languid pace, quite a bit slower than when they played New York as 20-year-old musical mavericks five decades ago. The crowd was just happy to see them, no matter how fast or slowly they played.