Yesterday, we learned that Travis Scott
is now involved in a lawsuit with a fan who was allegedly paralyzed following a fall at the rapper's show at Terminal 5 in New York back in April. The concertgoer, Kyle Green, alleged that Scott whipped the crowd into a frenzy and began goading people to jump from the balcony levels into the audience below, assuring them that they would be caught. Green states that he was trapped in the rush of people moving to jump off the balconies, and as a result was pushed off and subsequently sustained his injuries. Green's lawsuit also includes the Bowery Presents, the operators of the Terminal 5 venue.
This is not the first time Scott has come into trouble regarding his live performances. Scott was arrested
back in May on charges of inciting a riot, disorderly conduct and endangering the welfare of a minor following a performance in Arkansas. Nor is it the only lawsuit brought against a musician from a concertgoer this month. Last week, it was reported that Every Time I Die guitarist Jordan Buckley was being sued
by a woman who claims she suffered a concussion and fracture in her neck after she was struck by Buckley while he was stage-diving. Interestingly, Buckley did not even know he was being sued until a fan on Twitter asked him his opinion about the lawsuit.
While two concurrent lawsuits involving such well-known music figures seem like they might be the start of a trend, they are actually only the latest in a long history of cases between musicians and the people who might have started out as fans, but probably wouldn't call themselves one after their encounters.
Steve Aoki, who is well known for his penchant for launching either himself or various objects, especially cakes, into the audience was sued after knocking a fan unconscious when he jumped into the crowd aboard a life raft. In a bizarro, worst-case-scenario for all parties involved, singer Randy Blythe of heavy metal band Lamb of God was arrested after pushing a fan
off the stage during a performance in the Czech Republic in 2010. The fan hit his head on the concrete during his fall, and later died from his injuries. Blythe then came back and sued the Czech government, claiming his rights were interfered with.
And in an instance that would actually be pretty funny if it didn't involve someone getting seriously hurt, the All-American Rejects were sued in 2011 after chucking cans of Monster energy drink into the audience, which required a fan to get stitches on her head and ask herself what the bigger headache was, attending an All-American Rejects show or nearly getting concussed by a can of Monster.
What should be noted and added on is that in each of these cases, the musicians were not the only ones named in the lawsuits.Typically, the promoters and venues, along with their affiliated groups, including security, are named as well, like in Travis Scott's instance. In the case involving Lamb of God, the Czech Supreme Court ruled that Blythe was not at fault and that the blame lay with improper security measures and the fan accessing an unpermitted area.
In each of these instances there are several nuanced differences that make each case unique, but at the end of the day, someone who went to a show with the intention of having a good time ended up having a very not good time. Additionally, in almost each case there is an argument made by other fans and armchair commentators alike that there is some burden of responsibility for safety on the audience. Youtube music personality BryanStars likens attending a show to attending a baseball game, where there's always the risk of injury from a foul ball, and it would seem unfair to blame a baseball player for any injuries. Thus, when one enters a mosh pit or attends a particularly hyphy show, they attend with the knowledge that there is potential for sometimes serious injuries.
It's safe to say there's several holes that could be poked in BryanStars' argument, the least of which is that Major League Baseball has actually been doing some more soul-searching on how to better protect fans after a young child was seriously injured
at a Yankees game back in September. More pressure is on the league, teams, and venues to provide better safety measures, given the fact that much like random, flying cans of Monster and drop-kick stage dives, line-drive foul balls are kind of difficult to avoid, no matter how much preemptive knowledge a fan has.
But really, in this giant tossup of a blame game, isn't it fair to assign some of the blame to the artists? Understandably, they'll probably be the most defended group given that they're usually the most empathetic party involved, but when they wax poetic about wanting their shows to be safe and inclusive spaces, shouldn't that safety and inclusivity start with them and their actions? At the very least, they should probably take note from the cases of The All-American Rejects and Travis Scott and think twice about launching projectiles into the crowd, or advocating people throw their bodies off of a third-floor balcony. With the many risks assumed by artists, fans and venues, stupidity doesn't need to be piled on top.