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In Memoriam: Christopher Griffin, 49

by PLSN Staff • in
  • News
• Created: April 12, 2019

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Chris Griffin

SAN DIEGO, CA – Chris Griffin, a veteran rigger setting up the staging for the 2019 Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA, died from a fall from a temporary roofing structure on April 6. He was 49.

“We have lost a great man this last Saturday, doing the job he loved,” noted production manager Bobby “Boomer” Thrasher, who had set up a GoFundMe page for the veteran rigger’s family. Griffin is survived by his wife of 23 years, Samantha, and twin 14-year-old daughters. “He was an asset to everything he participated in,” noted Thrasher, a Parnelli Lifetime Achievement award recipient (2017).

A resident of San Diego at the time of his death, Griffin had worked on the setup for the Coachella festival during its entire 20-year span. He began his career in 1987, working in the U.K. and Europe before settling in the U.S., for production and staging companies including U.K.-based Edwin Shirley Staging (ESS), Stageco in Belgium, and Brown United, Kleege Industries and G2 Structures in the U.S.

A related news item is posted on plsn.com at http://plsn.com/newsroom/all-news/veteran-rigger-dies-during-setup-for-coachella-festival.

Chris Griffin

A Eulogy for Chris Griffin

Written by Jim Brammer, and submitted by Michael Brammer of G2 Structures

… “He wasn’t just a rigger.” Those are the words his mother, or in England, mum, said after Chris Griffin’s recent memorial service. No one there could have summed it up any better. After all … a mother’s love.

It was Saturday morning April 6 when the call came in. We remain in a state of shock, or maybe denial. There is absolutely no way one could put into words on this piece of paper what Chris Griffin meant to so many people … present self included.

Within an hour the support began flooding in. Bobby “Boomer” Thrasher and his team, still in a state of shock themselves, set up a GoFundMe College Fund for Chris and Sam’s twin daughters Danni and Tawnie … and the support continues to flood in. Boomer flew across the country to pay tribute in person. During the service he spoke his heart … and we all heard … and felt it.

A few moments after speaking with Boomer that Saturday morning, a shell-shocked Mark “Springo” Spring … simply said … whatever I can do … You tell me when and where to be and I will be there … and he was. He was such a comfort to Chris’ mother and father, who at 80 years young made the trip across the Atlantic to be part of the tribute, but more importantly, learn what their son truly meant to so many.

Billy Joel, Dead & Co, The Boston Red Sox, The Chicago Cubs, The New York Mets, The San Diego Padres … most of Major League Baseball. Fenway Concerts, AEG, Live Nation, Goldenvoice, Madison House, promoters from every corner. Production Managers, Stage Managers, Sound folks, Lighting folks, Video folks, and yes … lots of Riggers, along with people from all over the world whose lives Chris had touched in some way either reached out personally, through the GoFundMe campaign, or made the trip to San Diego.

One can’t begin to recount the 500 plus people who were in attendance at the Del Mar Paddock Club for what can only be described as one of the most fitting tributes ever witnessed for a member of our industry. A perfect program put together by Sam and family with Chris’ best friend Erik “Echo” Andersen and narrated by longtime friend Pierre Charmasson. It truly was a “Proper Send Off” and these thoughts surface …

Chris’ passing has left a tear in the fabric of our industry. Our family has suffered a devastating blow. However, this is a very resilient industry and ours is a self-supporting family that will not stay down. We will lock arms, stich up the tear, move forward and survive. But, there will be a scar, a scar that will never go away … a scar that represents Chris Griffin and the countless contributions he made to us in his all too short life, in this all consuming business that we’ve dedicated our lives to.

No mum … he wasn’t just a rigger. Rest in peace our friend … you will never be forgotten.

Chris Griffin

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