Enjoy Ontario Outdoor Festivals, But Know Your Rights If Injured - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Enjoy Ontario Outdoor Festivals, But Know Your Rights If Injured


It doesn’t matter what your interests might be, chances are you will find an outdoor festival dedicated to them in Ontario, Canada. Festivals dedicated to music, food, beer and other themes will be going on throughout the summer with at least two of them allowing attendees to bring cannabis onto the event site. Festivals bring together large crowds of people in relatively confined areas, which could lead to injuries no matter how much effort promoters put into their efforts to safeguard attendees. Before heading out to your first festival of the season, take a few moments to learn about your rights should you be injured.

What is premises liability, and how does it apply to outdoor festivals?

Premises liability is a principle of law making the owner of property responsible for maintaining it in a condition that keeps it free from dangerous hazards that could cause injuries to people entering upon the property. Common premises liability claims include a customer injured by a hazardous condition in a retail store, a person slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk, or someone injured in a fall due to inadequate lighting of the stairway of an office building. It can also include injuries suffered by people attending an outdoor festival.

The law defining the obligations of property owners and the rights of individuals injured on another party’s property in Ontario is the Occupiers’ Liability Act. Under the act, occupiers of premises, which includes land and the structures build on it, owe a duty to people to take reasonable measures to keep them safe while they are on the premises.

Occupier under the act is defined as someone in physical possession of premises. This could include a homeowner. It goes on to include in its definition of occupier the following parties who might not necessarily be in physical possession of the premises:

  • Anyone responsible for or in control of the condition of the particular premises;
  • Anyone responsible for or controlling activities at the premises; or
  • Anyone controlling the people granted access to the premises.

A promotor of an outdoor festival might obtain permission from the owner of the event site, such as a farmer or other type of property owner, to use it. The promotor could be liable as an occupier of the premises for injuries to festival attendees for accidents caused by conditions existing at site as someone controlling access to the premises and also as someone in control of the activities being held on it.

Report any injuries immediately to someone in charge

You might be injured in an accident caused by the condition of the festival site, or you could be the victim of an assault at the festival due to inadequate security provided by the promotor. In either event, you must document the incident and your injuries by reporting it to the police and to festival officials.

It’s a good idea to write down the date, time, location and a summary of what took place, including the names and contact information of any witnesses. Include a description or photos of your injuries. If you reported the incident to the police, ask them for a copy of the written report they prepare.

After your injuries have been evaluated and treated by your doctor, contact an Ontario personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of the accident or incident in order to determine what options you have for obtaining compensation and the identity of all parties who might be held responsible.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience helping people injured through the negligent or intentional conduct of other parties to obtain compensation. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.


I got injured in an accident while drinking beer at an outdoor concert festival. Can I still sue?

Yes. You have the right to sue the person or persons who cause you bodily harm while drinking at an outdoor concert festival. However, you were likely intoxicated before the episode resulting in injuries to your person, a judge might deem comparative negligence applies to the case.

This means that while you could have sustained considerable bodily harm, the presiding judge would also hold you responsible for any injuries you may have inflicted on the defendant. In this scenario, the defendant would be required to compensate you for your injuries, and you would also be obligated to do the same for his/her injuries.

Furthermore, you may choose to sue the event organizers as they would be obligated to oversee security at the outdoor concert venue. In this scenario, the grounds of your personal injury lawsuit would be negligence in enforcing security on the part of the event organizers.

Would it be contributory negligence on my part if I bring cannabis to an outdoor music festival and then get hurt?

Yes and No. A presiding judge can only apply contributory negligence to your personal injury lawsuit if the defendant’s defense can prove your actions contributed to the injuries you sustained. Such actions would typically involve direct or indirect provocation of the defendant, e.g., verbal insults, racial slurs, loud yelling, bumping into the defendant, etc.

Since such acts of contributory negligence may or may not be due to cannabis-induced intoxication, the fact that you had marijuana is not pivotal to the application of this tort in your personal injury case.

Do I have a case if I get sick due to bad weather conditions during an outdoor concert festival?

No. While the event organizers may be held liable for every person’s safety and well-being at the outdoor concert festival, they are not liable for sudden weather changes. The law recognizes events in which no human intervention or foresight can adequately prevent or avoid acts of God’. Consequently, you cannot sue anyone if you were to get sick due to bad weather while attending an outdoor concert festival.

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