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Live Nation Not Responsible for Drunk Festivalgoers Injuring Themselves, Rules Appeals Court

A Michigan court of appeals ruled that a drunk music fan cannot sue the promoter for breaking her ankle after leaving a country music festival.

A Michigan appeals court has ruled that drunk festivalgoers have only themselves to blame for getting injured following a day of drinking at a music event.

In 2016, a woman named Brandi Roe sued Live Nation and Michigan International Speedway (MIS) for breaking her ankle after leaving Faster Horses Festival, a three-day event headlined that year by Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Lady Antebellum. According to court documents, the day started off idyllic: Roe and her friends showered and ate breakfast and began drinking “beer and mixed vodka drinks,” followed by “games like corn hole and beer pong,” until they left for the festival grounds at 5 p.m. and remained there until 11:30 p.m. But after Roe left the festival grounds with a friend, her friend ventured into the forest to go to the bathroom. He called for her, and when she tried to follow him into the “dark wooded area,” she stumbled into a ravine and broke her ankle.  


Referring to a 2012 case that Roe believed set a precedent for hers, she argued that Live Nation and MIS were duty-bound to protect invitees from any unreasonable dangers posed by the terrain and that they had neglected to warn concertgoers about the risky landscape.

For Roe’s initial suit, the judges granted summary judgment disposition in favor of MIS and Live Nation and topped it off with a fairly scathing response: “We conclude that an average person of ordinary intelligence would have, upon casual inspection, been able to discover and appreciate the danger and risk associated with venturing off a well-lit pathway intended for pedestrian ingress and egress in order to enter a dark, wooded area with possible varied terrain at night.”

Roe appealed her case on the grounds that there were extenuating circumstances that created a higher risk of harm than usual; namely, that she was obligated to help her friend, and couldn’t have avoided falling into the ravine on her way to assist him. The judges responded that the “plaintiff was not required or compelled to follow her companion into the dark wooded area. In fact, plaintiff and her companion could have stood inline to use the portable restrooms instead of venturing off the path.”