When Fred Durst led Limp Bizkit off the stage prematurely during a Summer Sanitarium show outside Chicago, it was likely to the pleasure of those who showered the singer with garbage and boos. Bizkit fans, however, felt cheated to such an extent that they're suing.
An attorney representing 172 displeased concertgoers filed a class-action complaint Wednesday (October 8) in Cook County District Court against the band and its corporate arm, Limp Bizness. The frustrated fans want $25 each to cover Limp Bizkit's portion of a $75 concert ticket that advertised full sets by Bizkit, Linkin Park and headliners Metallica.
And more lawsuits are likely, said the plaintiffs' attorney, Michael J. Young.
According to the complaint, made public by the Smoking Gun Web site hours after it was filed, concert attendees expected a 90-minute set but were shortchanged when Durst left in a huff after only 17 minutes (see "Limp Bizkit Walk Offstage After Chicago Crowd Gets Hostile"). Before he left, the suit alleges, Durst hurled sexually explicit and anti-gay insults at the crowd and the city of Chicago that were intended to incite more hostility. He challenged some members of the audience to a fight before leaving the stage.
Offstage, the tirade didn't stop, since he still possessed the wireless microphone. He told the crowd that Limp Bizkit were the greatest band in the world in a rant that the class-action complaint elected not to detail in deference to "this court's sense of decency."
Young, who did not attend the show, claimed Durst walked into a hostile situation he'd created himself by railing against local radio personality "Mancow" Mueller with verbal insults and video displays. Mancow's station was one of the event's sponsors.
The organizing of disgruntled fans began just days after the July 26 concert, when Young appeared on the radio to answer questions about whether legal action could be taken for Limp Bizkit's shortened set. Afterward, the lawyer's number was given out over the airwaves, and he received about 900 phone calls.
If the judge rules in Young's favor and gives the complaint class-action status, everyone who attended the concert, about 40,000 people, would receive payment.
The suit is similar to one filed against Creed in April by four Chicagoans unhappy with that band's sloppy performance (see "Creed Fans Upset Over Sloppy Show Lose Suit But Fight On"). The difference is that this case isn't about a matter of opinion as to whether Limp Bizkit's performance was good; the fact is it was short, Young said.
In a statement, Limp Bizkit's attorneys said they see this as a case without legal merit.