A key congressional committee is launching an investigation into Live Nation’s role in the deadly Astroworld music festival, saying it has “serious concerns” that not enough was done to prevent the tragedy.
In a Wednesday letter, members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Reform asked Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino to answer a detailed series of questions, like “what precise time was Live Nation Entertainment first made aware of casualties” and what was done in response.
“Recent reports raise serious concerns about whether your company took adequate steps to ensure the safety of the 50,000 concertgoers,” the committee wrote. “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 launch of a congressional probe adds a new federal dimension to the legal troubles facing the organizers of Astroworld, a festival in Houston that left 10 dead and hundreds injured after a crowd surged toward the stage during a Nov. 5 performance by headliner Travis Scott.
Live Nation, Scott himself and others are facing hundreds of negligence lawsuits filed in Texas state court by thousands of victims, setting the stage for years of litigation and potentially hundreds of millions in damages or settlements. The organizers are also facing an investigation by the Houston Police Department and other local authorities.
Wednesday’s letter was signed by committee chair Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat from New York, as well as ranking member James Comer, a Republican from Kentucky, and other committee members. The committee set a deadline for answers of Jan. 7, and asked for a briefing from Live Nation by Jan. 12. A spokeswoman for Live Nation did not immediately return a request for comment.
Among other questions, the letter also asked Rapino to provide a detailed accounting of the “roles and responsibilities” of the various planners; any “any pre-show security assessments, planning, and briefings”; the time Live Nation was made aware that authorities had declared a “mass casualty event”; and steps Live Nation has taken to avoid future incidents.