RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to the president of Live Nation requesting information on the deadly Astroworld Festival that took place last month in Texas.
In a letter, members of the committee said, “We are deeply saddened by the deaths that occurred at Astroworld Festival and are committed to investigating what went wrong to inform possible reforms that could prevent future tragedies.”
Members said Live Nation Entertainment was responsible for “planning, staffing, putting up money, securing permits, finding vendors, communicating with local agencies.” They want to know what role the company played in the tragedy.
Headliner Travis Scott took the stage at 9:00 p.m. and at 9:38 p.m., Houston police began to respond to reports of a mass casualty event at the festival. Scott did not leave the stage until 10:10 p.m. The festival resulted in ten deaths with victims ranging between the ages of nine and 27. Their deaths have been attributed to asphyxiation from a crowd surge according to autopsy reports.
More than 300 people were reported injured and 25 were hospitalized as a result of a crowd surge. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Scott by injured attendees and families of the deceased.
The committee said recent reports raised “serious concerns” about whether the concert promotion company took adequate steps to ensure the safety of the 50,000 attendees at this event.
“The tragedy at Astroworld Festival follows a long line of other tragic events and safety violations involving Live Nation. For example, Live Nation has been fined or sued numerous times over safety issues at previous events, including other incidents involving surging fans or stampedes,” said the committee.
Houston police are conducting a separate criminal investigation into what happened at the festival. Police have said they are reviewing surveillance video provided by Live Nation and those shared on social media.
Live Nation is asked to answer the following questions by Jan. 7:
- A narrative detailing their roles and responsibilities for Astroworld Festival, including, but not limited to, venue security, crowd control, mass casualty incident planning, emergency communications, and medical care
- Pre-show security assessments, planning, and briefings conducted, including any details regarding any safety concerns raised prior to the performance
- Details regarding Live Nation Entertainment’s actions in response to same-day reports of fans breaking through security barriers
- Precise time Live Nation Entertainment was first made aware of casualties, and what steps were taken in response
- Precise time was Live Nation Entertainment was first made aware that law enforcement had declared the event a “mass casualty event,” and what actions did Live Nation Entertainment take between that report and the performance’s termination at approximately 10:10 p.m
- Assessment of the cause of the stampede and whether it could have been prevented
- Address reports that Live Nation has withheld pay from Astroworld employees until they have signed revised employment contracts that release Live Nation from liability
- Steps Live Nation plans to take to prevent another injury or death at future events