Concert Safety

April 22, 2022 • Volume 32, Issue 13
Would government regulation make events less dangerous?
By Lorna Collier


The Astroworld Festival tragedy in Houston, in which 10 people were crushed to death and at least 300 injured, has resulted in a renewed focus on concert safety. Investigations are ongoing in Texas and in Congress, including a criminal inquiry by the Houston Police Department with help from the FBI. A task force set up by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is looking at ways to make concerts safer. Nearly 400 victims' lawsuits have been consolidated into a single case, representing 2,800 plaintiffs. More broadly, concert safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: A labor shortage has made it harder for events to find qualified security staff, and some concertgoers are more likely to be aggressive or tired of following rules, making management more difficult. Yet experts say crushes can be prevented with planning, communication and safety strategies aimed at monitoring crowd density and having people in authority who can stop a show when needed.

Photo of Travis Scott at 2021 Astroworld Festival, Houston, Texas, on November 5, 2021. (Getty Images/WireImage/Erika Goldring)
Travis Scott performs at the 2021 Astroworld Festival. A crowd surge caused a crush that killed 10 people and injured 300, a tragedy that has spotlighted concert safety issues. (Getty Images/WireImage/Erika Goldring)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Apr. 22, 2022  Concert Safety
Feb. 08, 2019  Movie Industry Disruption
Jul. 14, 2017  Funding the Arts
Apr. 13, 2007  Stolen Antiquities
Oct. 21, 1994  Arts Funding
May 25, 1990  Tying Down Federal Funds for the Arts
Jun. 05, 1987  The Art Market
Jan. 22, 1982  Trends in Architecture
Feb. 20, 1981  Criticism and Popular Culture
Aug. 11, 1978  Support of the Arts
Sep. 27, 1974  Museum Boom
Feb. 01, 1974  Black Arts Revival
Nov. 28, 1973  New Directions in Architecture
Oct. 17, 1973  World Art Market
Dec. 25, 1970  Directions of the Dance
Jun. 04, 1969  Movies as Art
Feb. 12, 1969  Regional Theater
Mar. 27, 1968  Art and Antique Frauds
Aug. 28, 1963  Arts and the People
Aug. 02, 1961  Government and the Arts
Arts and Humanities
Commercial Law
Congress Actions
Consumer Behavior
Consumer Protection and Product Liability
Internet and Social Media
Legal Professions and Resources
Movies and Entertainment
Powers and History of the Presidency
Radio and Television
Regulation and Deregulation