Live Nation and their EDM partner Insomniac Events, producers of the hugely successful Electric Daisy Carnival series, have been hit with a class action lawsuit brought by festival volunteers seeking pay.
According to the suit, the companies used volunteer labor in the place of paid employees at their events, but failed to compensate the volunteers for their efforts. The lawsuit claims this is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires that all time spent working must be compensated at a rate of no less than the federal minimum wage ($7.25), and seeks to recover wages owed to these volunteers.
The lawsuit alleges that Live Nation and Insomniac intentionally misclassified workers as volunteers to avoid paying and overtime, failing to track the time worked by the volunteers and for allowing volunteers to perform duties for a for-profit company.
The suit further alleges that at the Nocturnal Wonderland event, Insomniac and Live Nation violated state law by failing to provide volunteers with required rest and meal breaks during their shifts.
The suit claims that volunteers were lured to the jobs with promises of free admission to the festivals, which proved to be less of a bargain when they had to work for the duration of the event. According to the lawsuit, recruiting was done via flyers that promised "meals, water, parking and time off to enjoy the festival" as well as hands-on experience in festival operations, which the plaintiff claims not to have received.
The suit also alleges that the companies required a “refundable volunteer deposit” to ensure that the volunteer performed their duties, resulting in some volunteers effectively paying Live Nation and Insomniac to work at the festival.
Live Nation did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.
“We’re really disappointed to hear about this lawsuit. There are thousands of current and former Insomniac volunteers who are expressing their outrage online over this suit, as well as their desire to continue volunteering at our events. We appreciate the support of these individuals and intend to vigorously defend the lawsuit." – Jennifer Forkish, Insomniac’s vice president of communications and public affairs