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The Who Plans 1st Cincinnati Area Performance Since 1979 Tragedy

FILE - In this June 28, 2015 file photo, singer Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshed of the band The Who perform at the Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Jim Ross/Invision/AP, File)
The Who Plans 1st Cincinnati Area Performance since 1979 Tragedy
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The Who announced on Tuesday it will perform in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area for the first time since 11 people died at one of its shows 40 years ago.

Plans call for the British rock group to play April 23 on the other side of the Ohio River, at Northern Kentucky University.

The concert will take place only a short drive from where the 11 music fans were crushed to death. More than 20 others were injured in the stampede as thousands lined up for seats.

The announcement came after a Cincinnati television station broadcast comments from Roger Daltry, The Who’s lead singer, and guitarist Pete Townshend. They are the remaining original members of the band.

Both have said they are always remembering the 1979 tragedy. Townshend recently told The Associated Press he wanted to discuss it in Cincinnati.

The Who said it will donate some of the profits from the concert next year to a memorial fund to help students in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Finneytown. The band has donated money to the fund for years. Three of the 11 killed had attended Finneytown High School.

The band’s members did not know about the tragedy until the show was ending. Longtime manager Bill Curbishley had made the decision to have The Who perform. He had warned Cincinnati officials that they would not be able to control the crowd if the concert did not take place.

Instead, the band left Ohio and moved on to Buffalo, New York, for their next show.

“I’m not forgiving us. We should have stayed,” Townshend told The Associated Press.

Townshend recalled the band’s manager telling him, “I’ve got something terrible to tell you.”

A similar tragedy happened in 2000 at the Roskilde Music Festival in Denmark. During a Pearl Jam concert, there was a stampede that killed nine people and injured 28.

Townshend feels that enough time has passed for an important discussion about the Cincinnati tragedy.

He said, "Now, we can have a conversation about it when we go back. That conversation will pick up. We will meet people and we’ll be there. We’ll be there. That’s what’s important.”

Townshend added, “But I do think one of the things that happened at the time was that we ran away...I left a little bit of my soul in Cincinnati.”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

stampede – n. an event in which a large group of frightened or excited animals or people run together in a wild, uncontrolled way

original adj. present or existing from the beginning

fund – n. money saved or set aside for a special purpose

manager – n. someone responsible for controlling or supervising something

conversationn. discussion

soul – n. a person's deeply felt moral and emotional nature