On Dec. 3, 1979, The Who played Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum and the show resulted in one of the worst concert tragedies of all time, as 11 people were killed in the push to get into the arena.
Near the end of WCPO’s documentary The Who: The Night That Changed Rock — marking the 40th anniversary of the tragic event and featuring the most extensive interviews yet about that night with The Who’s Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, as well as the group's longtime manager, Bill Curbishley — the band announced it would once again return to Cincinnati to perform.
Despite being "so nervous" about it, during Townshend's interview with host Tanya O'Rourke he said that The Who would indeed be coming back to the Cincinnati area to play a benefit for the P.E.M. Memorial scholarship. The P.E.M. organization provides scholarships for Finneytown High School students looking to pursue the arts. The grants are given in the name of the three Finneytown students killed on that night in 1979 — Stephan Preston (who was 19), Jackie Eckerle (15) and Karen Morrison (15).
"We need to go back to Cincinnati," Townshend said.
The band was slated to perform April 23 at BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University. O'Rourke said on a WCPO newscast that the Northern Kentucky venue was chosen due to scheduling. The band didn't want to return to Riverfront Coliseum (now Heritage Bank Center) and didn't want to risk playing an outdoor venue due to weather concerns, she said.
And now, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Who is rescheduling all of its April and May U.S. tour dates, including its Greater Cincinnati stop.
On their website, the band says. "The April and May stops on The Who’s Moving On! Tour are proactively being rescheduled to the fall/autumn out of an abundance of caution. As soon as we have the dates finalized we’ll share the updated schedule, and all tickets will be honoured accordingly. Thank you for your understanding."
No new date has been announced.
If you missed the WCPO documentary, you can stream it here.