A congressional committee is investigating the promoter of the Astroworld music festival, where 10 people were killed in a crowd surge as rapper Travis Scott performed last month.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee sent a letter Wednesday to Live Nation Entertainment Inc. President and CEO Michael Rapino requesting information on preparation and safety measures for the Nov. 5 event.
“Recent reports raise serious concerns about whether your company took adequate steps to ensure the safety of the 50,000 concertgoers who attended Astroworld Festival,” the top Democrat and Republican on the committee wrote in a letter also signed by U.S. Reps. Al Green, D-Houston, and Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands.
“For instance, reports indicate that security and medical staff were inexperienced or ill-equipped to deal with mass injuries,” they wrote. “Some attendees stated that the placement of barricades made it difficult to escape. Experts have stated that Astroworld Festival organizers failed to heed warning signs.”
The committee is requesting information about venue security, crowd control, mass casualty planning, emergency communications and medical care. The panel also wants to know at what time Live Nation Entertainment was first made aware of casualties, and what steps were taken in response.
The letter says the committee is also looking into reports that Live Nation withheld pay until part-time employees who worked the festival signed a revised employment contract that includes a broad provision releasing the company from liability in the 2021 festival.
The committee wants Rapino to address members during a briefing on the issue on Jan. 12, the letter says.
Hard to know how to evaluate this right now. This kind of action can often be more of an opportunity to grandstand than to uncover truth. Even with that in mind, we may learn things that might have stayed hidden or unnoticed otherwise. Let’s see what they can find out.