Texas task force releases concert safety report 5 months after Astroworld Tragedy
AUSTIN - Five months after the Astroworld Festival tragedy, the Texas Task Force on Concert Safety has released its final report.
Governor Greg Abbott announced the report's completion on Tuesday.
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The governor launched the task force five days after the deadly Travis Scott concert in Houston, where 10 concertgoers were killed and more than 300 others were injured.
The task force is led by Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony and consists of safety experts, law enforcement, firefighters, state agencies, music industry leaders, and others.
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The task force held several roundtable discussions to analyze concert safety and develop ways to enhance security at live music events in Texas, in order to then produce a report of recommendations and strategies to ensure concert safety and protect concertgoers.
As a result, the Texas Music Office created an online Event Production Guide that can be easily promoted and accessed through the Texas Music Office website.
The guide outlines best practices and recommendations for promoters, and grants them access to existing legal requirements.
"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," said Governor Abbott in a release Tuesday. "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."
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The group meetings and one-on-one discussions produced recommendations related to the following themes:
- Unified On-Site Command and Control (UCC): The task force strongly supports a requirement that event promoters determine which EMS, fire, and police agencies would respond to a 911 call on the site of their event and that those agencies be employed as UCC members.
- Permitting: The task force strongly recommends that mass gathering events permitted by municipalities should follow permit guidelines and best practices for unincorporated areas that are outlined in state statute. The task force also recommends that local authorities stop the show when it is determined that an event has been organized without a permit or has breached the bounds of the issued permit. Additionally, the task force recommends implementation of a universal permitting template and that any template include a standardized checklist for County Judges responsible for issuing permits.
- Training: The Event Production Guide will include a list of robust training resources for promoters, staff, and first responders for site walkthrough drills, security briefings, communication trees, show-stop triggers and responses, and more.
- Planning with Risk Assessment: The task force recommends a Concert Attendee Code of Conduct which should be part of the ticketing process and make clear what behaviors will lead to ejection. The task force also recommends that venues communicate with other venue representatives that have hosted the artist before. Event promoters should partner with artists to encourage safety, since messaging from the artist can be uniquely persuasive for fans. In addition, the Event Production Guide will include best practices for event design and crowd control.
- Centralized Resources: The Event Production Guide will host the large collection of resource documents that information many of the task force's recommendations.
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Meanwhile, investigations and lawsuits are still being handled in the aftermath of the Astroworld tragedy. Travis Scott requested several lawsuits against him be dismissed back in December.
The rapper then denied knowing about tragedy unfolding in the crowd before him in an interview with Charlamagne the God.
In March, Scott announced a multi-tiered initiative called Project HEAL to help ensure a tragedy does not happen again.
According to Project HEAL's website, the initiatives range from "academic scholarships, free mental health resources, a creative design center and a first-ever, tech-driven solution for event safety."
MORE: Travis Scott launches Project HEAL for community initiatives months after Astroworld Tragedy