The owner of the Washington Avenue Armory has filed a lawsuit in state court against Migos, alleging the Atlanta-based hip-hop group “caused a riot” at a concert held at the venue the night of March 6, 2015.
“The actions of the defendants caused patrons to be stabbed, robbed, beaten, severely harmed, and injured as the defendants continued to incite a select group of individuals to continue the onslaught of attacks, assaults, and destruction of the premises,” the lawsuit says. “Despite the severity of the incident the defendants were seen laughing and egging the crowd on as metal gates were ripped from the ground and thrown into the crowd.”
The venue owner, Albany Basketball & Sports Corporation, says it lost its liquor license “as a result of the fight and subsequent negative media attention.” It also had to cancel “several shows and events,” suffered “significant property damages,” and incurred costs associated with “litigation and nuisance violations from the City of Albany.”
The armory, represented by William Little of Teresi & Little, asks that the amount of monetary damages be determined at trial.
“The significant, unfortunate actions by Migos on March 7, 2015 have led to considerable business disruption to the Washington Avenue Armory and its parent, the Albany Basketball and Sports Corporation,” Joe Bonilla, a spokesman for the armory, said in a statement. “The unwarranted negative media attention and subsequent government actions against the Armory stemming from the event has placed an undue burden upon the Armory’s operations and its ability to attract programming. Therefore, on the eve of the three year anniversary of that fateful concert, the Armory is taking this important action to remedy the losses incurred from and arising from that event.”
Emails requesting comment sent to two addresses on Migos’ website were not immediately returned.
Migos showed up several hours late for the concert, missing a contractually required, pre-show meet-and-greet for which the armory “collected fees and charged numerous fans admission,” the lawsuit says. The crowd “became increasingly agitated” by the delay.
Onstage, Migos “encouraged fans to fight, ‘give them hell’ and kick ass,” according to the complaint. Group members or their entourage allegedly “were seen exiting the stage and attacking members of the crowd.”
In the aftermath of the incident, the city of Albany temporarily blocked the armory from hosting concerts, according to a 2015 Times Union article. The venue is now “allowed to host concerts, subject to a number of site-specific public safety related conditions,” the city’s building department director, Robert Magee, told The Alt.
Update, 6:15 P.M. After this story was published, we became aware of a separate lawsuit filed by Sharome Ross, who allegedly attended the concert, against both Albany Basketball & Sports Corporation and Migos. The lawsuit appears to have been filed on or around the same day as the one described above.
Ross “was attacked and assaulted by persons who were in attendance at the same show,” his lawsuit says. He allegedly sustained “serious permanent personal injuries,” which “were caused solely by reason of the negligence of the defendants.”
“It was a formula for a riot,” said Ross’ attorney, Don Kiley, Jr., in a brief phone interview.
Bonilla, the armory spokesman, and Migos representatives did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Read a copy of the armory’s complaint below: