Warning: This article contains embedded video that may be disturbing to some readers.
A series of concerts by Hong Kong boy band Mirror has been called off after a serious accident on Thursday night in which two performers were injured after they were hit by a giant LED video screen that fell from the ceiling.
The shocking incident (below) was caught on video, and the footage has gone viral.
The two injured performers were dancers for the 12-piece boy band Mirror, who were taking part in a concert series called “MIRROR.WEARE” at the Coliseum, a frequent concert venue that has become known as the mecca of the city’s Canto-pop industry. The concert series, which began on July 25, was supposed to have a total of 12 shows running through Aug. 5. It was the Canto-pop singing sensation’s debut at the Coliseum.
The accident happened during a group performance, when a giant LED video screen hung above the stage fell off and hit two dancers who were standing directly underneath. They were knocked down to the ground and appeared to be unconscious, while the rest of the crew was stunned. The two performers were rushed to the hospital. One reportedly sustained a head injury, but was in stable condition; the other received a neck injury, and is reportedly in serious condition.
#BREAKING: A horrible accident erupted as a Hong Kong singing and dancing boy band was hosting their first concert, injuring at least two dancers. Both were said to be conscious when being sent to the hospital. pic.twitter.com/y3c7MVyUmn
— Ezra Cheung (@ezracheungtoto) July 28, 2022
The concert was immediately halted and audiences were asked to leave the venue, but told they could retain their tickets until further notice. Many who witnessed the accident live at the concert, or watched the video circulating on social media, reported that they were emotionally disturbed by the incident.
“I have never felt this terrible going to a concert. Walking out of the Coliseum felt like walking out of a funeral home. It was somber, no one was talking,” one audience member who witnessed the incident told Variety. “Some other girls among the audience were crying. Another friend, who’s a mother, questioned why such a horrible, unacceptable incident could happen in Hong Kong, at the Coliseum.”
The accident has caused public outcry, with fans and industry insiders condemning the concert’s organizers for not allowing enough time for a site check and rehearsal, and disregarding performers’ safety.
The Hong Kong government has suspended further concerts at the venue until its stage design and mechanical structures are proven to be safe.
Concert organizers Music Nation and MakerVille, both subsidiaries of Hong Kong telecom giant PCCW, subsequently announced at 2 a.m. Friday morning local time that the remaining eight shows of the concert series have been canceled. They said in a statement that they regret the accident and expressed concern for the two injured performers, saying that they would provide support for the victims. The companies also pledged to investigate the cause of the incident.
Mirror, formed in 2018 and comprised of 12 male singers, emerged from “King Maker,” a reality TV show staged by PCCW’s ViuTV. The group rose to super-stardom in Hong Kong during the COVID pandemic. Some of the band members, including Keung To, Anson Lo and Edan Lui, have become some of the city’s fastest rising stars in music, TV and film, and the band has also become advertisers’ favorites due to their massive fanbase.
However, criticism of the organization of the concert series has been non-stop since it launched.
Just before the series of shows kicked off, one dancer was injured during rehearsal. On the second night, Mirror member Frankie Chan fell off the stage while performing. Many audience members who attended the first two performances questioned the stage’s safety measures.
It was then revealed that performers were only given two days to rehearse before the concert series kicked off. Industry heavyweight Aaron Kwok, an actor and Canto-pop star best known for his dance performances on stage, spoke out and said two days weren’t enough to prepare for a concert. Kwok said he needed at least three to four days to rehearse at the venue, and prior to that, he practised in a different venue with a replica stage.
The safety row has been rumbling throughout the week, with more than 13,000 signing a petition on Change.org demanding that the concert’s organizers dismantle the unsafe mechanical stage designs and ensure a safe stage for the performers to sing and dance.
“It is very wrong [that] even before this accident, the audience [was pleading] with the organizers to put safety on top of the list and [requesting that they] cancel some stage arrangements so that the boys can perform on safe grounds,” said Mirror fan Shirley Chan, who had bought two tickets to a weekend show.
Concerned fans questioned whether two of the production companies, Hip Hing Loong Stage Engineering Company Ltd, and Art Design & Production Ltd, had to bear responsibility for the serious accident. But one entertainment industry insider who is familiar with concert production told Variety that these companies use local industry veterans, and the accident was rare. The issue, they suggest, is a lack of crucial rehearsal time that may have revealed the technical shortcomings.
“The organizers did not give enough time for the crew and performers to set up and rehearse,” said the insider, who declined to be named. “Any problems on stage are discovered and resolved during rehearsal. But it appears that there was not enough time given to this.”