2917.40 Safety at live entertainment performances.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Live entertainment performance" means any live speech; any live musical performance, including a concert; any live dramatic performance; any live variety show; and any other live performance with respect to which the primary intent of the audience can be construed to be viewing the performers. A "live entertainment performance" does not include any form of entertainment with respect to which the person purchasing a ticket routinely participates in amusements as well as views performers.

(2) "Restricted entertainment area" means any wholly or partially enclosed area, whether indoors or outdoors, that has limited access through established entrances, or established turnstiles or similar devices.

(3) "Concert" means a musical performance of which the primary component is a presentation by persons singing or playing musical instruments, that is intended by its sponsors mainly, but not necessarily exclusively, for the listening enjoyment of the audience, and that is held in a facility. A "concert" does not include any performance in which music is a part of the presentation and the primary component of which is acting, dancing, a motion picture, a demonstration of skills or talent other than singing or playing an instrument, an athletic event, an exhibition, or a speech.

(4) "Facility" means any structure that has a roof or partial roof and that has walls that wholly surround the area on all sides, including, but not limited to, a stadium, hall, arena, armory, auditorium, ballroom, exhibition hall, convention center, or music hall.

(5) "Person" includes, in addition to an individual or entity specified in division (C) of section 1.59 of the Revised Code, any governmental entity.

(B)

(1) No person shall sell, offer to sell, or offer in return for a donation any ticket that is not numbered and that does not correspond to a specific seat for admission to either of the following:

(a) A live entertainment performance that is not exempted under division (D) of this section, that is held in a restricted entertainment area, and for which more than eight thousand tickets are offered to the public;

(b) A concert that is not exempted under division (D) of this section and for which more than three thousand tickets are offered to the public.

(2) No person shall advertise any live entertainment performance as described in division (B)(1)(a) of this section or any concert as described in division (B)(1)(b) of this section, unless the advertisement contains the words "Reserved Seats Only."

(C) Unless exempted by division (D)(1) of this section, no person who owns or operates any restricted entertainment area shall fail to open, maintain, and properly staff at least the number of entrances designated under division (E) of this section for a minimum of ninety minutes prior to the scheduled start of any live entertainment performance that is held in the restricted entertainment area and for which more than three thousand tickets are sold, offered for sale, or offered in return for a donation.

(D)

(1) A live entertainment performance, other than a concert, is exempted from the provisions of divisions (B) and (C) of this section if both of the following apply:

(a) The restricted entertainment area in which the performance is held has at least eight entrances or, if both entrances and separate admission turnstiles or similar devices are used, has at least eight turnstiles or similar devices;

(b) The eight entrances or, if applicable, the eight turnstiles or similar devices are opened, maintained, and properly staffed at least one hour prior to the scheduled start of the performance.

(2)

(a) The chief of the police department of a township police district or joint police district in the case of a facility located within the district, the officer responsible for public safety within a municipal corporation in the case of a facility located within the municipal corporation, or the county sheriff in the case of a facility located outside the boundaries of a township or joint police district or municipal corporation may, upon application of the sponsor of a concert covered by division (B) of this section, exempt the concert from the provisions of that division if the official finds that the health, safety, and welfare of the participants and spectators would not be substantially affected by failure to comply with the provisions of that division.

(i) The size and design of the facility in which the concert is scheduled;

(ii) The size, age, and anticipated conduct of the crowd expected to attend the concert;

(iii) The ability of the sponsor to manage and control the expected crowd.

If the sponsor of any concert desires to obtain an exemption under this division, the sponsor shall apply to the appropriate official on a form prescribed by that official. The official shall issue an order that grants or denies the exemption within five days after receipt of the application. The sponsor may appeal any order that denies an exemption to the court of common pleas of the county in which the facility is located.

In determining whether to grant an exemption, the official shall consider the following factors:

(b) If an official grants an exemption under division (D)(2)(a) of this section, the official shall designate an on-duty law enforcement officer to be present at the concert. The designated officer has authority to issue orders to all security personnel at the concert to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the participants and spectators.

(3) Notwithstanding division (D)(2) of this section, in the case of a concert held in a facility located on the campus of an educational institution covered by section 3345.04 of the Revised Code, a state university law enforcement officer appointed pursuant to sections 3345.04 and 3345.21 of the Revised Code shall do both of the following:

(a) Exercise the authority to grant exemptions provided by division (D)(2)(a) of this section in lieu of an official designated in that division;

(b) If the officer grants an exemption under division (D)(3)(a) of this section, designate an on-duty state university law enforcement officer to be present at the concert. The designated officer has authority to issue orders to all security personnel at the concert to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the participants and spectators.

(E)

(1) Unless a live entertainment performance is exempted by division (D)(1) of this section, the chief of the police department of a township police district or joint police district in the case of a restricted entertainment area located within the district, the officer responsible for public safety within a municipal corporation in the case of a restricted entertainment area located within the municipal corporation, or the county sheriff in the case of a restricted entertainment area located outside the boundaries of a township or joint police district or municipal corporation shall designate, for purposes of division (C) of this section, the minimum number of entrances required to be opened, maintained, and staffed at each live entertainment performance so as to permit crowd control and reduce congestion at the entrances. The designation shall be based on such factors as the size and nature of the crowd expected to attend the live entertainment performance, the length of time prior to the live entertainment performance that crowds are expected to congregate at the entrances, and the amount of security provided at the restricted entertainment area.

(2) Notwithstanding division (E)(1) of this section, a state university law enforcement officer appointed pursuant to sections 3345.04 and 3345.21 of the Revised Code shall designate the number of entrances required to be opened, maintained, and staffed in the case of a live entertainment performance that is held at a restricted entertainment area located on the campus of an educational institution covered by section 3345.04 of the Revised Code.

(F) No person shall enter into any contract for a live entertainment performance, that does not permit or require compliance with this section.

(G)

(1) This section does not apply to a live entertainment performance held in a restricted entertainment area if one admission ticket entitles the holder to view or participate in three or more different games, rides, activities, or live entertainment performances occurring simultaneously at different sites within the restricted entertainment area and if the initial admittance entrance to the restricted entertainment area, for which the ticket is required, is separate from the entrance to any specific live entertainment performance and an additional ticket is not required for admission to the particular live entertainment performance.

(2) This section does not apply to a symphony orchestra performance, a ballet performance, horse races, dances, or fairs.

(H) This section does not prohibit the legislative authority of any municipal corporation from imposing additional requirements, not in conflict with this section, for the promotion or holding of live entertainment performances.

(I) Whoever violates division (B), (C), or (F) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. If any individual suffers physical harm to the individual's person as a result of a violation of this section, the sentencing court shall consider this factor in favor of imposing a term of imprisonment upon the offender.

Cite as R.C. § 2917.40

History. Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 03-23-1981