A Slate article published back in June 2013 declared The End of the Unpaid Internship, after two film crew interns, including one working on the Academy Award-winning film Black Swan, sued for violations of the US Fair Labor Standards Act, and the blowback has now hit the festival market.
As Complete Music Update reports, in the wake of a raft of unpaid internship lawsuits that were filed against several major record labels mid-last year, a group of festival volunteers are now filing a similar class action lawsuit against live events promoters Live Nation and Insomniac Events.
The plaintiff in the suit volunteered at Insomniac’s Nocturnal Wonderland festival in California, and is claiming that they and other volunteers were hired “to carry out the work of paid employees,” but were subsequently not paid for their time in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to ClassAction.org, in addition to not paying the hourly minimum wage, Insomniac’s violations also include failing to keep track of employee hours and recruiting unpaid workers to a for-profit company. Festival volunteers are typically “paid” with tickets to the event and are allotted time to leave their post and enjoy the festival, but the suit alleges that no such time was allocated.
The suit also alleges that in some cases, the promoters kept the “refundable volunteer deposit” that covered workers unable to fulfil their duties, effectively charging volunteers to work. The suit aims to cover volunteers who worked at any Live Nation or Insomniac event over the past four years.
Watch: Nocturnal Wonderland 2013 Official Trailer