Man commits suicide at Swell Season show

The beautiful setting at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Calif. was disrupted last night when a still unidentified man leapt to his death during a concert by Irish folkies, The Swell Season. Witnesses have told several sources, including San Francisco’s KTVU, that the man climbed onto the roof of the winery building before leaping onto the stage. also reports that the Swell Season’s Glen Hansard, who was bantering with a guitarist at the moment, then put down his guitar and approached the man while doctors in the audience attempted to revive him.

Update: The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the man who jumped was 32-year-old San Jose, Calif. resident, Michael Edward Pickels.  A spokesperson from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office says Pickels accompanied a friend to the show and left his seat around 10 p.m. before climbing onto the roof and jumping.

Many in the audience were shaken and in tears, and audience member Kyle Rivers told that he thought the man was part of the act. “[He was] standing there on the edge of the roof, and then he took off running and jumed,” said Rivers, “[he] did a couple of flips and landed on the stage. It was pretty traumatic.”

The band also issued a statement saying “the band, crew and all involved are shocked and saddened by the unfortunate events of last night. Their hearts go out to the victim and his friends and family.” No word on whether tonight’s concert featuring Jack Bruce of Cream is still on, but we’ll let you know as soon as more details become available.

Ironically enough, this is the second such incident in as many days. On Wednesday night, an attendee of the Phish concert at the Jones Beach theater in Long Island, New York fell from a balcony. The unidentified man survived the fall, but is listed in critical, but stable, condition.


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