Over the past decade, the music industry has experienced an interesting shift away from recorded music and toward live performances. Concerts and music festivals have become an increasingly profitable enterprise for a changing business model. Unfortunately, more gatherings of large groups of people have also lead to an increase in stage collapses, crush injuries, fires, and other tragic events which injure large groups of people.
Who is Liable When Injuries Occur at a Concert or Music Festival?
Any business owner who invites the public onto his or her property owes a duty of care to the patrons. If the owner (or manager) fails to inspect the premises and make them safe, he or she can be legally responsible ("liable") for injuries sustained on the property. This is known as premises liability.
Premises liability can apply to a live concert in many different ways. For example: a crush injury may be the result of concertgoers simple behaving as expected, or it could be the result of the venue's owners failing to maintain adequate security or control unruly patrons. In a real life example, the LA Times noted that the cause of a fire in a converted Oakland warehouse being used as a concert venue had not been established. The fire caused multiple fatalities. While it was not yet being treated as a crime scene, there are many ways in which the owners of the warehouse could be subject to premises liability. If they were negligent in the conversion of the warehouse, if they did not follow building and fire code regulations, if they allowed unsafe equipment, or if they otherwise failed to protect their patrons against the possibility of fire, the owners could be liable for wrongful death.
Florida Festival Liability
Premises liability at festivals can be even more complicated that concerts, due to the enhanced scope of space and length of the event. There are also more parties involved in the planning and execution of the event. Organizers, producers, promoters, managers, owners, and performers are all involved in hosting the event. When an injury occurs, one or all of these parties may have a role in causing the accident.
Pitchfork reported on a bizarre case in which performer Travis Scott told a fan at his show to jump from a third floor balcony, offering assurances that the people below would catch him. The jumping fan was hospitalized. Undoubtedly, Scott's highly public encouragement to jump played a role in causing these injuries.
The liability of festival or concert organizers depends upon the unique facts of an individual case. Ultimately, however, injury victims at concerts or music festivals deserve fair compensation for their injuries. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. have over thirty years of combined experience in protecting accident victims across Florida.