HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — For the first time since its creation in February, the City of Houston-Harris County Special Events Task Force has come together to publicly announce plans to hold large-scale events at NRG Park.
The group, formed in response to the fatal Astroworld Festival, is tasked with the goal of working closely to prevent tragedies like Travis Scott’s Live Nation event in the future.
On November 5, 2021, a mob on the first night of the Astroworld Festival killed 10 people. A recent lawsuit also claims an attendee lost an unborn child to the event.
Questions quickly arose about which agency has authority over safety, security and medical response.
“NRG is a county facility, but it’s located in the city of Houston. So when you’re planning events, people need to know who’s in charge of what,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. Monday’s press conference.
The group announced their new inter-local agreement to streamline communications between county and city entities for events specific to NRG Parks.
“An agreement that clearly delineates responsibilities between all parties to understand what their jobs are so nothing gets through the cracks,” District 2 Commissioner Harris Co. Adrian Garcia said.
The city-county agreement is exclusive to NRG Park and will apply to any event with at least 6,000 people.
It requires promoters to submit a health plan for fire department approval, a security plan for law enforcement approval, and occupancy requirements that the fire department will calculate.
“We will now be involved in the planning and development of that emergency action plan, which will help us stay aware of the situation throughout the event,” said Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña. said.
It also requires a unified command in place.
“We want to make sure that accountability and decision-making is at the headquarters in case something happens. We can delay, we can change, we can cancel. quit, even while the event is in progress,” Peña said.
Peña estimates about 50,000 people attended Astroworld, which has more than double that number.
He said the tragedy was a matter of over-concentration of people in a certain area.
To address that, there is also a new requirement for crowd management.
As the city and county prepares to host major events like the NCAA Quarterfinals and World Championships in 2026, they said they are determined to make sure Astroworld’s chaos, mayhem and devastation never again repeat hour.
This Special Events Task Force was created specifically for future event safety.
As for the criminal investigation, the Houston Police Department said it is continuing.
HPD investigators say they are working with the assistance of the FBI.
Watch the Witness Bulletin for the full coverage of the murder World Astronomy Festival.
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