When a violent crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas initially left 8 young people dead, a number which has since risen to 10, and hundreds, if not more, injured, everyone who heard the news wondered—who was responsible for this tragedy?
As the investigation is still underway, we can’t be sure exactly what happened or why. However, there is proof that the design of an event, as well as overcrowding and poor crowd management systems, affect the safety of the crowd. Many eyes have turned to Travis Scott, the festival’s founder and evening’s headlining performance, asking why he didn’t stop the performance until 40 minutes after the event was classified as a mass casualty event. Another group to ask, however, is one of the event organizers: Live Nation, the world’s largest live-events company and the owner of Ticketmaster.
Live Nation Has a History of Tragic Events
Just as Travis Scott has a history of endangering fans at his concerts, the Astroworld festival tragedy was not Live Nation’s first brush with violence; in fact, the conglomerate has been linked to hundreds of deaths and injuries over the past 15 years. Like Friday’s events, these past incidents involved overwhelming numbers of attendees.
Several of these tragedies brought forth lawsuits against Live Nation, the most significant of which was filed in 2018 after shooter Stephen Paddock fired on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas. The attack claimed 58 lives and, 5 months after the shooting, the company had still not fully refunded tickets to all those who attended the festival.
The same year as the Las Vegas shooting, an attendee at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park was, according to the lawsuit, “trampled,” “pummeled,” and “assaulted” in “stampede-like conditions” at the event.
In 2016, 50 concertgoers fell 10 feet onto a concrete path when a crowd pushed over a railing at a Snoop Dogg concert in Camden, New Jersey.
In 2019, Neal Schon, the guitarist for Journey, filed a lawsuit against Live Nation, claiming that his wife was violently assaulted by one of its hired security guards at a concert. That same year, the company received a $5,000 fine after an employee was struck in the head by a 6-foot steel beam that tipped over while he was walking at a venue in 2018, severely injuring his head.
On top of these numerous lawsuits, Live Nation has also been fined for breaking rules set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Will Live Nation Be Held Responsible for the Astroworld Tragedy?
As the investigation continues and more lawsuits are filed, we will surely learn more about what happened at the festival. When disaster strikes at an event like a concert, the organizers need to be held responsible for their gross negligence and poor planning.
The concert injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin are committed to demanding justice for the victims of the Astroworld tragedy. On behalf of the victims we are representing, as well as the thousands affected by this event, we will continue to fight. No matter what.