Up-and-coming English indie band Viola Beach were caught by tragedy this weekend, all four members and their manager killed in a car accident in Sweden. Just a day after news confirmed the accident, their debut single “Swings & Waterslides” had entered Official Singles Chart Top 40 at 39.
Campaigns driven by fans are working to help the single rise in the Chart Top 40, all proceeds from the single’s purchase to benefit and aid the band and manager’s families, arranged by their record label Communion.
“They were a great band,” says John Olsson of Psykofant to BBC News, “I was standing in the audience thinking I will be able to say I hung around with Viola Beach before they made it big.”
Viola Beach- officially formed May 2015- were listed in the line-up for a Swedish festival, en route when the accident occurred on a highway bridge over a canal; their car plunged 80 feet down into the canal through a gap in the bridge, a platform that rose upwards instead of tilted upwards to allow a boat to pass underneath.
Police and eye witnesses do not understand how the incident occurred, as there were plenty of halted cars, flashing warning lights and even a barrier. Currently, no signs of braking were found. All bodies were recovered by divers.
A growing fan base, sold out shows in their hometown and elsewhere, opening nights for bigger bands- friends of Viola Beach remember them to have remained modest despite their growing success, which earned them performances for BBC’s Introducing sessions.
This week’s Chart Top 40 closes February 19th. Best wishes to the “Swings & Waterslides” in continuing the band’s success.
In Memory of Viola Beach- Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin, and manager Craig Tarry.