Arts & Entertainment

Band to Pay for Counseling After Fan Jumps to Death During Concert

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SARATOGA, Calif. -- "The Swell Season" is paying for grief counseling for hundreds of fans who watched in horror as a man jumped 20 feet to his death onto the stage during the band's concert in Santa Clara county last week.

The Swell Season was playing an outdoor show at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga in front of a crowd of about 1,900 when the jump happened last Thursday night.

As the band finished performing a song, 32-year-old Michael Pickels jumped from a roof covering the outdoor stage in an apparent suicide. Pickels landed near lead singer Glen Hansard, who's known for his role in the 2006 movie "Once."

The band has promised to pay an undisclosed amount of money to help pay for four group counseling sessions, according to a spokeswoman for Palo Alto-based Kara counseling center. Those services will be free to any audience members.Witnesses said Hansard removed his guitar and walked over to the man's body.

The jumper was pronounced dead by a doctor in attendance who spent an hour trying to revive him.

The band extended its sympathies in a MySpace post Friday.

"Our hearts go out to the victim who decided to take his own life at last night's gig ... and to his friends and family," the statement said.

Hansard and singer-songwriter Marketa Irglova are known in part for the alt-rock band's role in the 2006 movie "Once."

The group wrote and performed the movie's theme song, "Falling Slowly," which won the Academy Award for best original song.

Promoter Live Nation said it would not change its concert schedule.

"We have ample security in place and trained safety staff at every concert and we are committed to ensuring the safety of all who come to Mountain Winery," the group said in a statement.

"At the same time, we are working with the local authorities in investigating this tragic incident."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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