Were the injuries at the Global Citizen Music Festival worsened by crowd-control measures?

By Dante Nicolello


Were the injuries at the Global Citizen Music Festival worsened by deliberate crowd-control measures employed by event organizers?

There were many reported injures during a mad rush out of the event which occurred when someone stepped on a water bottle and the pop was mistaken for a gun-shot. There are reports that event goers were penned up in sections with steel interlocking gates which may have contributed to the injuries. The event organizers may be liable for these injuries because under the law they owe a duty of care, a legal responsibility for event goer’s safety. I would recommend anybody injured seek immediate medical attention and then seek advice from a lawyer. These injuries may include being trampled, tripping over barricades, slip and falls, and more cause by the mass chaos. Our office is now collecting information about the incident. If you or anybody you know was there and has information about any injuries, please speak with one of our attorneys investigating this matter.

Below is some information we have about this incident.

On Saturday, September 29, 2018 at or around 7:00pm in Central Park at the Annual Global Citizen Festival, an incident occurred. This incident was initiated by a loud bang sound coming from the area of the audience. The resulting panic resulted in a mass exodus of the event. During this exodus, many people were injured. The extent of these injuries are not yet fully known at this time. This is still being investigated and more information is expected soon.
This audible bang was reportedly investigated by NYPD and was suspected to be caused by a person stepping on a plastic water bottle causing it to pop. Later the event organizers resumed the event and made an attempt to bring audience members who had left back into the event. Unfortunately due to unknown reasons, many people were not allowed back into the event and were effectively locked-out.

Although event organizers did not charge cash money for the majority of the approximately 48,000 tickets, they did require people to earn entry into a drawing for these tickets. In order to earn entry, people were employed to perform various lobbying tasks for the organization. These included contacting public officials with scripts promoting the interests of the Global Citizen organization. In effect, this event was not free and in order to attend, work must have been performed on behalf of the organization operating the event. Also, audience members, throughout the day were being exposed to the names of sponsoring corporations. These corporations were named along with the names of people who had been performing charity work around the world. This allowed the sponsoring corporations to earn good will not only among the event audience members, but to world-wide viewers and listeners who had access to the events through television broadcasts, radio broadcasts and live streaming on radio streaming services and YouTube. So, although this may have been considered a charity event, there was a lot of money, advertising and lobbying work going around. Event goers were part of this whole ecosystem. Their presence was not just for their own benefit, but was a necessary component of the entire financial ecosystem created by the event organizers.

The event organizers had a duty of care to provide a safe environment to all event goers whether or not these event goers paid for their attendance. The event organizers breached this duty of care when they allowed a small situation, described as someone stepping on a water bottle to escalate into a mass exodus where injuries occurred. They further breached this duty by not having in place a proper evacuation plan as evident by the injuries occurring when this rush to exit occurred. Many event goers complained about being penned up in steel barricades. Having these oppressive levels of crowd-control may have backfired and been a major factor in these injuries. They also breached their contractual obligations by locking out ticket holders from re-entry. Courts may award damages depending on the injuries if negligence can be proven. There are Important deadlines that must be met depending on who the defendants are. If you have further information about this incident, have pictures, video, or know people who were injured, please contact our office. We are looking to speak with people about this incident.


About the Author

Dante A. Nicolello is a named partner at Lau & Nicolello, LLC. He holds a JD from New York Law School and is licensed to practice law in both New York and New Jersey.