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Gov. Greg Abbott forms concert safety task force in the aftermath of Astroworld tragedy

Festivalgoers exit NRG Park on the first day of the Astroworld Music Festival
Amy Harris
Festivalgoers exit NRG Park on the first day of the Astroworld Music Festival in Houston on Friday.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday announced the formation of a task force on concert safety after Friday’s Astroworld Festival left eight people dead and hundreds more injured.

The Texas Task Force on Concert Safety will be led by Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony and will hold roundtable discussions with the goal of enhancing security at future concerts across the state, the governor said. The task force will then produce a list of recommendations and strategies “to ensure the tragedy that occurred at Astroworld never happens again,” according to Abbott.

“Live music is a source of joy, entertainment, and community for so many Texans – and the last thing concertgoers should have to worry about is their safety and security,” Abbott said in a statement. “From crowd control strategies to security measures to addressing controlled substances, this task force will develop meaningful solutions that will keep Texans safe while maximizing the joy of live music events.”

The task force will consist of music industry representatives, as well as members of the Texas Music Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, among other state organizations.

The news comes after Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert on Friday. The crowd surged as the Houston rapper began his performance, leaving eight people dead and more critically injured, including 9-year-old Ezra Blount and 22-year-old Bharti Shahani.

The Houston Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation, while county officials are determining a path for "an independent, objective assessment" of what caused the concert disaster, according to Harris County Judge Hidalgo.

Copyright 2021 Houston Public Media News 88.7. To see more, visit Houston Public Media News 88.7.

Lucio Vasquez
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