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Texas Task Force on Concert Safety Issues Final Report

April 20, 2022 by Reece Nations
Texas Task Force on Concert Safety Issues Final Report
Travis Scott performs at the Astroworld Music Festival in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2021. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the Texas Task Force on Concert Safety had released its final report on Tuesday, submitting a new set of recommendations and strategies to ensure the safety of concertgoers in the state.

The task force was created in Nov. 2021, days after a crowd surge incident at the Astroworld Festival in Houston that caused the deaths of 10 attendees and injured over 300 others. In addition to being led by an assortment of safety experts, law enforcement officers, firefighters, state agencies officials and music industry leaders, the task force is headed by Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony.

The youngest victim of the crowd surge incident was a nine-year-old boy from Dallas who was attending with his father, while the nine others killed ranged in age from 14 to 27, according to the Associated Press. Travis Scott, the event’s headliner and founder, is currently facing hundreds of lawsuits over the Nov. 5 incident along with the event’s promoter, Live Nation.

“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 written statement when the task force was formed.

“From crowd control strategies and security measures to addressing controlled substances, this task force will develop meaningful solutions that will keep Texans safe while maximizing the joy of live music events.”

The final report was issued after a series of meetings and one-on-one discussions that analyzed concert safety strategies and initiatives to increase security at live music events in Texas, according to Abbott’s office.

In addition to the report’s findings, the Texas Music Office announced the creation of an online event production guide that serves as a blueprint for promoters to safely operate concert events.

The recommendations made in the report include implementing on-site unified command and control operations, changing municipal jurisdiction permitting rules to match permit guidelines for unincorporated areas and instituting robust training resources for promoters, staff, and first responders.

Further, the report suggests events like the Astroworld show require unique contingency plans when they are held in large parking lots rather than stadiums or concert venues.

The task force urged the creation of a requirement compelling event promoters to determine which EMS, fire and police agencies would respond to a 911 call on the site prior to large events. Although Harris County had jurisdiction over the permitting requirements of Astroworld, the City of Houston was responsible for responding to 911 calls regarding event incidents.

The resource documents that informed many of the recommendations detailed in the report will be hosted on the Texas Music Office website as part of its event production guide. Additionally, the best practices for event design and crowd control are included in the guide.

“I thank the Texas Task Force on Concert Safety for their commitment to safety and security for all concertgoers and for their collaboration with stakeholders on this critical report,” Abbott said in a written statement. “The recommendations, findings, and solutions detailed in this report will help the state of Texas prevent another tragedy like that at Astroworld Festival from happening again.”

Reece can be reached at reece@thewellnews.com.

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