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House committee launches probe into deadly Astroworld concert

A crowd surge at Travis Scott’s music festival in November left 10 people dead and dozens more injured.
Travis Scott performs at the first day of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston.
Travis Scott performs at the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park in Houston on Nov. 5.Amy Harris / Invision/AP

WASHINGTON — The House Oversight Committee announced Wednesday that it is opening a bipartisan investigation into the stampede at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival last month, which left 10 people dead and dozens more injured.

Democratic and Republican leaders on the committee sent a letter to Michael Rapino, the president and chief executive officer of the company that promoted the concert, Live Nation Entertainment, which the committee said was reportedly responsible for the festival’s “planning, staffing, putting up money, securing permits, finding vendors, communicating with local agencies.”

“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,” said the members of the committee, which is chaired by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.

The lawmakers cited reports that security and medical staff members 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," the lawmakers said.

The lawmakers said the tragedy in Houston comes after a series of other events and safety violations involving Live Nation, noting that the company has been fined or sued over safety issues at other events.

“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,” the members said.

The stampede happened when the crowd of 50,000 people surged, causing the audience to panic.

Several lawsuits name Scott, guest performer Drake and Live Nation as defendants, as well as people affiliated with NRG Park and ScoreMore Holdings.