In late July, we learned that the family of an attendee who died after attending HARD Summer Music Festival was suing the promoters, Live Nation, on allegations of wrongful death, negligence, premises liability and public nuisance.
Yesterday, it came to light that another family was suing Live Nation, the mother of 19-year-old Emily Michelle Tran who passed away after the 2014 festival at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area. The coroner later confirmed that she passed away due to complications involving ecstasy.
According to LA Times, the lawsuit “said that the Beverly Hills company knew, or should have known, that raves like Hard Summer encourage the possession, distribution and consumption of illegal drugs like Ecstasy.” [emphasis our own]
As a raver of years and a part of this community, as well as a member of the media who knows how festivals like HARD operate, comments like this infuriate me. Say what you will about the medical preparedness of the festival, that can be objectively confirmed or refuted. But claiming that a festival willingly encourages the consumption of potentially deadly substances is wildly inaccurate and baseless.
The lawsuit further went on to accuse Live Nation of being “negligent, careless and reckless,” and having failed to provide adequate security and medical services. It also alleged that the company “knowingly oversold the event and created an atmosphere that was overattended, overcrowded and dangerous.”
The lawsuit also charged that Tran’s transport to the hospital was “negligently delayed.”
“They turned a blind eye to the known risks in order to capitalize on teenagers and young adults, who believed they were attending a safe party environment properly staffed with adequate security services and emergency personnel,” said the lawsuit, filed by lawyer Arthur G. Lesmez on behalf of Tran’s mother, Julie, a resident of Anaheim.
Any concert promoter in Los Angeles, Southern California, or anywhere in the United States, especially with regard to dance music events, knows about the proliferation and popularity of substances like alcohol at their events. To assume, or accuse, event promoters of knowingly creating an environment that was at the same time dangerous and encouraged drug use is just wrong.
Staff Pro was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Representatives of Live Nation and Staff Pro declined to provide comment to the LA Times.