Collapsed Stage Light at Music Festival Causes Traumatic Brain Injury

This case study explores a traumatic brain injury incident at an outdoor music festival, focusing on the liability of concert promoters in ensuring safety standards.

ByExpert Institute


Published on February 6, 2024

Collapsed Stage Light at Music Festival Causes Traumatic Brain Injury

Case Overview

In this case study, an adult suffered severe injuries during an outdoor music festival. The incident occurred when a stage light, weighing approximately 20 lbs and suspended nearly 80 feet above the ground, collapsed onto the concertgoer. The impact resulted in a traumatic brain injury to the victim.

The central issue of this case is determining the liability of the parties involved. This is done by particularly focusing on the role of concert promoters and their obligations towards event safety standards.

Questions to the expert and their responses


Briefly describe your experience as a concert promoter, specifically overseeing subcontractors for outdoor music festival venues?

As an expert with over four decades’ experience in the music industry, I’ve held various roles that involve hiring and managing subcontractors.

My most relevant position was as summer festival manager for a large-scale music event in a region comparable to the Shenandoah Valley. In this role, I was responsible for hiring numerous subcontractors to assist with different aspects of the festival.


What duties and obligations does a concert promoter have when it comes to subcontractors' equipment malfunctioning at their venues?

Concert promoters should ensure a safe environment for all attendees. If any equipment provided by subcontractors malfunctions leading to an accident, liability would typically fall back on me or whoever hired them. This is because we are ultimately responsible for ensuring that all elements of the event meet safety standards.


What safety standards are in place to avoid incidents like this?

There are several safety measures to implement at every event. These include thorough checks of all equipment before use, regular maintenance, and immediate action if potential hazards are identified. Additionally, there should be contingency plans in place to handle an emergency swiftly and effectively.

About the expert

This expert boasts 40 years of experience in the music industry, with advanced degrees from reputable institutions. They have held significant roles such as a summer festival manager for a large-scale music event and associate dean in the department of humanities at a prominent California university. Currently, they are a professor emeritus in the department of recording industry at a university in Tennessee, demonstrating their extensive knowledge and expertise in the field.

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