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Home » Injuries » Concert venues have duty to protect fans and performers

You just scored some concert tickets for one of the hottest shows of 2017. In this area of Florida, there is no limit to the options available for music or entertainment.  There are always musicians touring and exciting shows to see.  Without dimming your excitement at the opportunity to see some of your favorite musicians or entertainment, you should consider the security that will be in place at the concert venue on the night of the show.

Lax security can be deadly

To those who grew up attending rock festivals and concerts in the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s, concert security consisted mainly of a few large men who kept drunken fans from leaping onto the stage with their guitar heroes. However, these were the days of festival seating when smoking was still allowed inside the venues.

The concept of general admission festival seating was overhauled after the tragic deaths of 11 fans of British rock superstars The Who at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati in 1979. When too many fans attempted to rush through the few open doors in a stampede for spots by the stage, 11 were crushed. Eight more were critically injured in the tragedy.  Still, today security is always a paramount concern to prevent injury and enable all the fans to enjoy the show without risk of harm.

Terrorism and fanaticism pose security risks

Today, we have new dangers as well.  The potential dangers of lax security at concert halls was never more evident than at the Paris concert massacre last year. It took place at the Bataclan for the American band The Eagles of Death Metal. The tragedy left 89 dead in a well-coordinated terrorist attack.  Here, we have the haunting reminder of the Pulse club tragedy.

Obsessive fans can pose security threats that are just as lethal. The family of former Voice contender Christina Grimmie recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit here in Florida against AEG Live. The 22-year-old singer died from gunshots fired by an obsessed fan last June.  She was shot at Orlando’s Plaza Live theater following a show her killer attended. Ms. Grimmie was mingling with fans, signing autographs, when her killer emerged from the queue and shot her. He then turned the gun on himself in the ensuing melee.

Concert promoters and venue owners have a duty to take adequate measures to provide security for attendees and performers to prevent such tragedies. When they fail to do so, and people get injured or killed, it opens the door to potential premises liability or wrongful death litigation.