Montreal festival-goer launches class action against Osheaga over tardy headliner

A Montreal woman is launching a class-action lawsuit against Montreal-based concert promoter Evenko after Friday night Osheaga headliner Travis Scott showed up late and played a shorter than expected set.

Late start and abbreviated show by Friday headliner Travis Scott at root of legal action

Rapper Travis Scott, the headliner at Osheaga Friday, was supposed to play a 70 minute set starting at 9:45 PM. Instead he played a total of 38 minutes, starting at 11:02 PM. (evenko/Tim Snow)

A Montreal woman is launching a class-action lawsuit against Montreal-based concert promoter Evenko after Friday night Osheaga headliner Travis Scott showed up late and played a shorter than expected set.

Megan Le Stum says Evenko was in breach of contract and failed to live up to its advertised promise of a 70-minute set by the rapper from Houston, Texas.

Student Megan Le Stum told CBC she saved up all year to go to Osheaga. (Megan Le Stum)

Scott was schedule to perform from 9:45 to 10:55 p.m. Friday. Instead, his set began at 11:02 p.m. and finished at 11:40, a total of 38 minutes.

Le Stum said ​Scott's performance was the main draw for her to attend Osheaga Friday night, and if he weren't performing she never would have purchased a ticket for that day.

"Travis Scott is known to have these high energy shows that are really worth the while and worth the wait," Le Stum told CBC.

"This is a principle of equity. I paid $150 for that single day. We were disrespected in that we didn't get that headliner show," she added.

Evenko told CBC in an email that the situation is in the hands of its legal team and that it will not comment further.

Delayed at customs

According the lawsuit, Osheaga initially advised concert-goers that Scott's set would be delayed due to technical difficulties.

It was only at 10:15, 30 minutes after the show was to begin, that Osheaga tweeted that Scott was in fact delayed at customs at Trudeau airport.

Le Stum says by 10:30, the crowd was becoming restless and aggressive.

She and her friends, knowing that Osheaga performances were supposed to stop at 11 because of local noise bylaws, decided to leave.

She assumed at that point Scott's show likely would not go ahead.

It was only after she'd left the site and it was too late to return she realized the performance was proceeding.

Scott referenced the delay during his set, trying to hype the crowd.

"Customs held me up cause they knew what was about to happen. They knew what was goin' down at Osheaga in Montreal," Scott told the crowd before launching into one of his hits.

Suit alleges breach of contract

Le Stum's lawyer, Jimmy Lambert, told CBC he believes Evenko had a contractual obligation to present the show on time as advertised.
Jimmy Lambert says Evenko should have anticipated that it could take several hours for Travis Scott to clear customs. (Jimmy Lambert)

"It's like going to the cinema, watching a movie that's an hour and a half, only it stops after 40 minutes. And on top of that you had to wait more than an hour for the movie to start," he said.

Lambert said the excuse of Scott being delayed at customs doesn't absolve Evenko of responsibility.

"Going through customs is not something that's unexpected. It's not a hurricane or an illness. Anybody who enters a country goes through customs," Lambert said.

"Evenko specializes in concerts and events. They produced thousands of events last year. They should have anticipated this possibility," Lambert said.

No apology

Le Stum said she attended the rest of the festival and enjoyed it, but she was disappointed with Evenko's response to the problems with the Scott show.

"We never got an apology. We never got an offer for compensation," She said.

The suit is seeking $115 plus taxes in damages for anyone who purchased either a one-day pass for Friday or a three-day pass for the whole festival.

Lambert said he's received hundreds of calls from people wanting more information since the suit was first made public Thursday morning.

The lawsuit still needs to be approved by a Superior Court judge before it can proceed. It will likely take months to work its way through the courts.

About the Author

Steve Rukavina

Steve Rukavina is a journalist with CBC Montreal.

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