Travis Scott is involved in a new effort to standardize safety measures at festivals across the U.S., a source familiar with the situation tells Billboard.
The embattled rapper, who is currently facing legal claims from nearly 2,800 Astroworld attendees after 10 people died and hundreds more were injured during his Nov. 5 performance at the festival, has spent the past three weeks working with The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) on an initiative designed to put new safety protocols in place in the festival industry.
The effort, which is currently soliciting participants for a working group, would mark the first time key stakeholders from multiple sectors — including government, music, public safety, emergency response, event management, health care and technology — have mounted a collective attempt to standardize health and safety measures at festivals nationwide.
According to the source, Scott has been reaching out to music industry leaders to secure their involvement in the endeavor. In a draft of a USCM agreement viewed by Billboard, “target participants” for the working group include Live Nation, AEG, Spotify and Apple as well as ticketing companies, record labels, management companies, talent agencies and the technology industry. Emergency preparedness, public safety and healthcare experts will also be approached.
Entitled “Ensuring Festival Safety,” the agreement notes that a comprehensive report based on discussions and research conducted among the working group’s participants and outside experts will be compiled between January and June 2022. The report will include findings and recommendations on issues including chain of command and authority, clear lines of communication, crowd management and monitoring, enforcement of health and safety protocols and the adoption of new technologies and innovations to help address safety concerns. Once complete, it will be released electronically to 1,400 cities and other relevant stakeholders and be made publicly available online at usmayors.org.
“It is our hope that this report serves as the new safety and security blueprint for all festivals,” the agreement reads.
USCM will announce the initiative at the 2022 USCM Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., slated for Jan. 19-21, 2022. The final report and recommendations will be discussed during a subsequent USCM webinar, to feature select working group members and experts.
Within USCM, the report will be led by Reno Mayor and USCM’s vp strategy Hillary Schieve, who chairs the organization’s Tourism, Arts, Park, Entertainment and Sports Committee. USCM’s Mayors and Police Chiefs Task Force as well as its Criminal and Social Justice Committee will also help spearhead the effort.
In the wake of the Astroworld tragedy, safety and live events experts have noted multiple safety failures at the festival, including lapses in crowd management as well as the hire of inexperienced security staff amid a global labor shortage in the touring industry. In addition to Scott, Astroworld promoter Live Nation and other festival organizers have been named in the various lawsuits, which were recently consolidated into a single giant case.