As families continue to mourn their losses from the devastating crowd surge that killed 10 people and injured hundreds earlier this month at Travis Scott‘s Astroworld Festival, on Friday (Nov. 19), Public Enemy frontman Chuck D wrote an open letter speaking out against Live Nation.
“I’m tired of these corporations shucking their most crucial responsibility. These folks simply say Rest In Peace and move on. This negligence can’t continue. Folks want answers. I’m not buying the Young Black Man did it,” says Chuck D. “He’s being blamed for a crime while the old white men running the corps that Travis and his fans trusted with their lives stay quiet in the shadows, counting their money and watching their stock prices go up and up.”
Despite Chuck D’s admonishment of Live Nation, he still held Scott — who’s currently facing over 100 lawsuits — partly accountable for the festival’s wrongdoings.
“The excuse of Scott’s irresponsible actions don’t wash – if his act had a history of that behavior why promote him to bigger venues, why partner with him in the first place and let him headline a bigger audience? Live Nation controlled this show. They control almost all of the concert venues. Artists ain’t speaking out because these same cats are already bought by these corporations. No one can say a word against them unless they want to be Blacklisted and hurt their careers.”
Chuck D continued his diatribe by blasting Live Nation’s president and CEO, Michael Rapino, and other major concert promoters for their lack of accountability, urging them to seek change to protect event-goers.
“So I am calling on Michael Rapino’s entire team at Live Nation and a consortium of all the major concert promoters out there to do the right thing. To step up and step out of the shadows to fix these situations and save lives. To stop letting one Young Black Man take the blame, the hate, the fall. We don’t know everything that happened or exactly what failed. But concert promoters have all the power to make the changes to keep everyone safe and alive.”
He concluded by saying: “Live Nation, your stock is up. The White Corporate Music Biz keeps cashing in on Black Pain, Trauma and Death. This has to stop yesterday. You’re part of the problem. Grow the f–k up, fix this and let us all LIVE in PEACE.”