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Electric Zoo hit with class action after ‘nightmare’ edition

Electric Zoo organisers have been hit with a class action lawsuit after a “nightmare” edition earlier this month.

The New York-based electronic music festival, which is now operated by Avant Gardner, was due to take place between 1–3 September in Randall’s Island Park but was plagued by issues.

A pair of attendees have now launched a class action over what they called “a nightmare endured by thousands of electronic music fans”.

As IQ previously reported, the first day of the festival was cancelled just three hours before it was set to start. Organisers released a statement saying “global supply chain disruptions” had impacted the festival and that “unexpected delays have prevented us from completing the construction of the main stage in time for Day 1”.

However, promoters behind the event later told Billboard that the Department of Parks & Recreation officials would not issue the permits needed to stage the event.

“[Electric Zoo] was a nightmare endured by thousands of electronic music fans”

Additionally, the final day opened late and was oversold – with the full 42,500-person capacity being met by midday and approximately 7,000 festival-goers being prevented from entering the site, despite having valid tickets.

Some fans who reached the festival site after the gates were closed decided to jump fences or run through security checkpoints as a group, joining other ticket-holding fans in mad dashes past security staff, according to reports.

The class action plaintiffs – Nicole Brockmole and Lauren Bair – are now seeking damages on “behalf of all affected patrons who paid for ticket(s) for access or entry to [Electric Zoo] were not granted access”.

“In addition to Friday’s cancellation, and perhaps more egregiously, things turned worse for Electric Zoo fans on Sunday when they were left to languish in heatwave for hours after being greeted by never-ending lines to enter the festival and eventually denied entry because the venue was oversold and overcrowded,” the lawsuit states.

Brockmole and Blair – who are from North Carolina and Arizona respectively – were among thousands who travelled to New York for the festival, only to be denied entry.

This year’s edition of Electric Zoo was set to be headlined by Kx5, Galantis, and The Chainsmokers, and organisers of the festival promised refunds to those who were denied entry, or a partial refund for weekend ticket holders.

Total costs for this year’s festival — including refund costs to fans who didn’t make it in, as well as paying Friday night performers their full fees — could total $25 million, former insiders at SFX Entertainment, which owned the festival from 2013 to 2022, told Billboard.

The festival changed hands last year after Avant Gardner, a Brooklyn music venue and nightclub, acquired Electric Zoo promoter Made Event for a reported $15 million.

The festival was launched in the US in 2009, spawning international editions in Mexico, Brazil, Japan and China.

IQ has reached out to Avant Gardner for comment.


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Ticketmaster and Ocesa face class action lawsuit

Mexico’s federal consumer protection office Profeco has reported that a Mexico City judge has admitted a class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster and promoter Ocesa.

The Live Nation companies are subject to multiple claims from consumers that have accumulated since 2021, alleging various breaches such as unilateral cancellation of tickets, breach of conditions and refusal to give full refunds, including service charges.

The Ninth District Judge in Civil Matters of the country’s capital, Guillermo Campos Osorio, described the lawsuit filed by Profeco as “admissible” and gave the green light to the collective action, which currently represents 521 consumers.

“These situations reflect a general breach in the provision of the entertainment service regarding various musical, cultural, sporting, artistic and recreational events, violating the rights of consumers,” reads a Profeco press release.

“This collective action is a watershed in the defence of the right to use, enjoy and enjoy cultural and entertainment services, endorsing Profeco’s commitment to eradicate abuses and asymmetries by these service providers.”

Profeco is inviting other affected consumers to come forward and join the class action lawsuit

The organisation is inviting other consumers “affected or affected by the cancellation of your tickets, denial of access or refund of your money for the cancellation to attend any cultural, sports or entertainment event during the period from 2021 to date” to come forward and join the lawsuit.

Earlier this year, Ticketmaster Mexico provided refunds and additional compensation after more than 2,000 fans were denied entry to a Bad Bunny concert at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium.

The company reported that problems occurred “due to failures in its ticket reading system” at the first of two dates at the venue by the Puerto Rican rapper, in addition to “an unprecedented number of fake tickets”. Ticketmaster avoided being fined as it has refunded the full price of the ticket, plus 20% compensation, to those affected, with the total amounting to almost 18.2 million pesos (€914,000).

Ticketmaster Mexico announced the appointment of Ana María Arroyo as its new director, replacing the long-serving Lorenza Baz, in the wake of the controversy.


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