Are Music Festivals Off the Hook if You Get Hurt There?

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Hi, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer, here with your quick shot of legal wellness.

Tonight I’m in Columbus, Ohio at the WonderBus Music Festival getting ready for the headliner, Duran Duran, and I got to thinking…it’s busy here. What if you end up getting hurt? 

Now, if one of the guests here hurts you by, say, throwing his or her frisbee and hitting you in the head, you could maybe sue for damages, as called in the law, for the injuries you suffered. But let’s say something on account of the site here, like the promoters or the festival itself, causes you to get hurt. For instance, if the sound board falls on you or you step in a hole because the flooring is bad by the merch table. Do you have a claim against the promotion company, the promoters, or the event? The event would tell you that you don’t. Why? Because of what’s called liability waivers, which i want to talk about a little bit. 

Liability waivers are ubiquitous. They’re everywhere. They’re often in health club contracts. They say if you’re hurt through any fault of ours or anyone’s, you can’t sue us. I got to thinking…is there such language affecting my visit here? So I took a look at the website where I got the ticket. There’s nothing about a liability waiver. I took a look at the page where I purchased the ticket. Nothing about it. I took a look at the ticket, which was already after I’d done the deal and bought it. At the bottom, highlighted here, it says if you want to take a look at extra terms and conditions, go to another website. So, I did and when I went to that website, not in the first, second, or third pages, but the fourth page, the absolute last paragraph, was none other than a release of liability or a liability waiver. Here it is and it literally says if anything happens to you here, even if it’s our fault, you can’t sue us. 

That’s often nonsense. It’s often unenforceable. That’s what’s called an adhesion contract. Take it or leave it, you have no choice but to agree to it, if that is you even see it, which often you don’t. And if something happens, you can’t sue them? Not so fast. Those clauses are generally considered void as against public policy. They’re so ugly and one-sided that the courts just don’t want to enforce them. So, if you’re hurt in a health club, if your cell phone blows up when there’s a release of liability language in the box, or if you’re hurt at a music festival, don’t be so quick to think that because they say you have no claim that you don’t. Often you do. So, take a look, be smart, be safe, and think about it before taking their word for it. That way you’ll stay safe and sound. 

If you want to learn more about legal wellness, please subscribe to my YouTube page or visit me at Until next time, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer.

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