Live Nation has been given more time to provide answers to a congressional oversight committee that last month asked for written answers to questions relating to the deadly Astroworld Festival debacle, in which 10 people died during a crowd surge on Nov. 5, contending that “the tragedy at Astroworld Festival follows a long line of other tragic events and safety violations involving Live Nation.”
The committee had requested responses by Jan. 7.
A committee spokesperson tells Variety: “The Committee has been in communication with Live Nation, which has begun providing relevant information in response to our requests. The Committee is committed to getting to the bottom of this tragedy and seeking accountability for those responsible.” A source close to the situation said the briefing will likely take place early in February.
The information was requested in an open letter published on Dec. 22.
The letter, signed by Carolyn B. Maloney, chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and four other members of Congress, is addressed to Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s president-CEO, and demanded answers to seven questions by Jan. 7, 2022, as well as related contracts.
“Recent reports raise serious concerns about whether your company took adequate steps to ensure the safety of the 50,000 concertgoers who attended Astroworld Festival,” says the letter, which begins by noting the 10 deaths that occurred at or as a result of the festival.
The letter lays out a timeline that notes that injuries began to be reported to medical staff around 9:20 p.m., and that a police log indicated a “mass casualty” event at 9:38, yet “the concert continued until Live Nation stopped the concert at approximately 10:10 p.m.
“We are also concerned by reports about Live Nation’s conduct following Astroworld Festival,” continues the letter, referencing news reports that some employees at the concert are being asked to sign waivers to be paid for their work at the show. “Live Nation and its subsidiary reportedly have withheld pay until part-time employees who worked the festival have signed a revised employment contract,” the congresspeople write.
Also signing the letter with Maloney were James Comer, a ranking member of the committee that Maloney oversees, and Congress members Bill Pascrell, Jr., Kevin Brady and Al Green. Pascrell has long called for investigations into Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which he and four other Congresspeople called a “monopoly” in a letter to President Biden last spring.
Live Nation responded with the following statement: “We are assisting local authorities in their investigation and will of course share information with the Committee as well. Safety is core to live events and Live Nation engages in detailed security planning in coordination with local stakeholders including law enforcement, fire and EMT professionals. We are heartbroken by the events at Astroworld and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims.”