Brady, Members Launch Bipartisan Investigation into Live Nation's Role in Astroworld Tragedy
Wednesday, Rep. Kevin Brady, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. James Comer, the Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. and I sent a letter to Michael Rapino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., requesting information regarding the tragic events of the Astroworld Festival on November 5, 2021, when a stampede crushed concertgoers, killing ten people and injuring hundreds more. Live Nation Entertainment was the concert promoter reportedly responsible for “planning, staffing, putting up money, securing permits, finding vendors, communicating with local agencies,” for Astroworld Festival.
“This a horrifying way to die, and absolutely preventable. Their families and our community deserve answers to make sure this never happens again," I said. “I pushed for this Congressional investigation to hold the concert promoters and organizers accountable, identify the causes, and make sure families no longer have to wonder if their child, friend or loved one will come back from a concert alive.”
In the letter we wrote:
“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. For instance, reports indicate that security and medical staff were inexperienced or ill-equipped to deal with mass injuries. 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.”
According to reports, the main performer took the stage around 9:00 p.m., and approximately twenty minutes later, medical staff responded to the first reports of injuries. According to a police activity log, by 9:38 p.m., Houston Police officers and firefighters responded to reports of a “mass casualty event." Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña stated that after local law enforcement received the initial reports of people sustaining injuries in the crowd, “our people stepped up and immediately went to the producers and told them, ‘Hey, people are going down.’” However, the concert continued until Live Nation stopped the concert at approximately 10:10 p.m..
The tragedy at Astroworld Festival follows a long line of other tragic events and safety violations involving Live Nation. Live Nation has been fined or sued numerous times over safety issues at previous events, including other incidents involving surging fans or stampedes.
“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,” we added.
We requested information by January 7, 2022, regarding the roles and responsibilities for Astroworld Festival, security planning for the event, and the steps Live Nation Entertainment took after being made aware that law enforcement had declared the event a “mass casualty event.”
We also requested a briefing on these issues on January 12, 2022.
Click here to read the letter.