Industry News

Live Nation sued over HARD Summer Fest overdose death

Live Nation is being sued by the parents of Roxanne Ngo who died of an overdose at the promoter’s 2016 HARD Summer Music Festival in California.

The 22-year-old was one of three people that died during the EDM festival from, what the San Bernardino coroner called, “acute MDMA toxicity,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Ngo’s father, Hai Ngo, filed the lawsuit in San Bernardino Superior Court on July 31 and claims negligence and wrongful death.

Live Nation is accused of having inadequate police and security for the event, as well as highlighting that the four medical tents were insufficient for the 147,000 festival attendees. It also faults the promoters for not providing enough drinking water through the 90-degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 °C) weather during the event.

In addition, the lawsuit accuses Live Nation of putting “profits ahead of the safety of the HARD fest attendees including Roxanne Ngo,” by overselling the festival, leading to “overcrowding”.

The 2016 event was held at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. It was this year moved to the smaller Glen Haven Amphitheater in Devore for its 10th anniversary. According to Billboard, the 2017 event saw 107 arrested, along with 19 hospitalised, but no one died.

HARD Fest was created by Gary Richards – known by his stage name Destructo – who launched the event in 2007 and built it into a major festival brand hosting around 150,000 EDM and electro house music fans.

Live Nation earlier this month made the decision not to renew Richards’ contract after its recent expiry, and will take on full ownership of HARD’s flagship events, including Holy Ship! And HARD Summer.

Image: Vinch