A crowd surge during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival set at Houston’s NRG Park in November 2021 resulted in 10 people dying from compression asphyxia, hundreds of injuries, and thousands of lawsuits. Scott offered to pay for funeral expenses and was mostly rebuffed, and he legally denied responsibility. One victim’s family settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Scott and Live Nation in October. Yesterday (November 29), Billboard reported what steps are being taken to prevent another tragedy like this from occurring again at NRG Park.
According to the report, the City of Houston-Harris County Special Events Task Force has amended an interlocal agreement “to streamline safety protocols, permitting requirements and communication for large-scale events at NRG Park.” This is the most crucial change to the venue’s safety protocols:
“Under the new agreement, any event hosting more than 6,000 people at the complex will require an on-site unified command center staffed by the Houston Fire Department (HFD), Houston Police Department (HPD), Mayor’s Office of Special Events (MOSE), Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office (HCFMO), NRG Park and the event organizer. Going forward, review and approval of event capacity as well as site, security and medical plans will fall on the HFD chief or a designee. The HFD will also be tasked with clarifying requirements with event organizers to ensure they meet safety, medical and site planning requirements at the venue. Security plans will require additional sign-off by the HPD, while event plans will need sign-off from MOSE. Ideally, having a designated authority will lessen the likelihood of confusion and inaction during events. Permits for NRG Park will continue to be issued by the City of Houston.”
The amendment comes seven months after the Texas Task Force On Concert Safety, created by Governor Greg Abbott, concluded that Astroworld “suffered from permitting issues and insufficient training for security,” as noted by Billboard at the time.
Scott’s first sit-down interview post-Astroworld was with Charlamagne Tha God in December 2021.
“It gets so hard because, you know, I always feel connected with my fans,” Scott said at one point during the 51-minute conversation. “I went through something and I feel like fans went through something and people’s parents went through something, and it really hurts. It hurts the community, it hurts the city. There’s been a lot of thoughts, a lot of feelings, a lot of grieving, and just trying to wrap my head around it. And really just wanting to be there and wishing you could just hold everyone, kind of just heal them, talk to them, have conversations. It really just hurts, man.”
The Houston rapper’s first headlining concert since Astroworld took place in August at London’s O2 Arena. Earlier this month, Scott was announced as a Rolling Loud headliner at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California, on March 4, 2023.