Sound engineer sues for injury

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A sound engineer who says he was injured while working at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April has filed a legal complaint against its organizers.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court lists several defendants, including Coachella Music Festival LLC, Los Angeles-based promoter Goldenvoice and its parent company, Anschutz Entertainment Group.

According to the lawsuit, Alexander Kanakis was working as a freelance contractor for the event and suffered three spinal fractures on April 18 following the headlining performance of Swedish House Mafia Weekend 1 when the equipment of lighting fell from the top of the stage and above him.

The Swedish House Mafia stage production featured a giant ring angled over the performers and a round light fixture suspended from the top of the stage. The group consists of DJ Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso.

The complaint also alleges poor working conditions, such as requiring production staff to work continuous 30-hour shifts, refusing to pay hotels, and shuttling workers between Burbank and Burbank.

During the 2019 festival, a 120-pound luminary fell from the roof structure of the Sahara tent and injured two patrons.

Representatives for Goldenvoice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Headliners for the 2022 iteration included former One Direction singer Harry Styles, singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and Swedish House Mafia’s performance was shared with Canadian rapper The Weeknd.

Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment for the Desert Sun. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bblueskye.

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