Following the Astroworld tragedy, where nine attendees lost their lives, and hundreds more were physically injured or psychologically damaged, Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the creation of a statewide concert task force.
With hopes of avoiding future calamities, Abbott’s task force, led by Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony, will be made up of safety consultants, music industry experts and law enforcement officials who are tasked with coming up with recommendations to improve concert safety, as reported by The Texas Tribune.
“Live music is a source of joy, entertainment, and community for so many Texans — and the last thing concertgoers should have to worry about is their safety and security,” Abbott said in a statement.
When talking about large concerts or events, the responsibility of overseeing these big events falls on the city, who often task multiple departments – such as fire, police and health – with making sure the events are safe for attendees.
Since the process is decentralized, pinpointing who exactly was responsible is proving to be a hard task for officials in Houston and Harris County. The city’s police department has an ongoing criminal investigation into the deaths of the concert attendees, while city departments are doing their own internal reviews of what failed, Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters Tuesday.
“There are a number of agencies that are looking at what took place on Friday,” Turner said. “I am certain that changes will be made.”
The catastrophe has stirred up 90 lawsuits by attendees – hundreds of whom were injured in the chaos – primarily against Scott, but also to Live Nation, a prominent entertainment company behind the festival, rather than local government agencies.
Officials who grant permits often trust large promoters like Live Nation who are supposed to be companies that know what they’re doing, said Steve Allen, a U.K.-based event security consultant with the firm Crowd Safety — though hundreds of people have died or been injured at Live Nation events in the past, according to the Houston Chronicle.