Dec 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House oversight committee launches probe into Live Nation's role in Astroworld tragedy

 People look at a memorial to those who died at the Astroworld festival

People visit a memorial to those who died at the Astroworld festival in Houston. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform announced Wednesday they have launched a bipartisan investigation into festival promoter Live Nation's role in November's deadly Astroworld concert.

Driving the news: A dangerous stampede during rapper Travis Scott's performance at the concert left 10 people dead.

The big picture: In a letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, committee members note Live Nation was the concert promoter in charge of "planning, staffing, putting up money, securing permits, finding vendors, communicating with local agencies" for Astroworld.

  • "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," stated the letter, which was signed by House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) ranking member Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), and Reps. Al Green (D-Texas), Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.).

The letter noted Live Nation has a history of safety violations at previous events and that at this year's Astroworld, "reports indicate that security and medical staff were inexperienced or ill-equipped to deal with mass injuries."

  • "The tragedy at Astroworld Festival follows a long line of other tragic events and safety violations involving Live Nation."

What to watch: Lawmakers have asked Live Nation to submit written answers to a series of questions outlined in the letter and certain documents by Jan. 7.

  • They have also asked representatives to appear for a briefing on Jan. 12.

What they're saying: Live Nation said in an emailed statement to Axios the company is cooperating with current investigations.

  • "Safety is core to live events and Live Nation engages in detailed security planning in coordination with local stakeholders including law enforcement, fire and EMT professionals," the statement said, adding that Live Nation is "heartbroken by the events at Astroworld."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comments from Live Nation.

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