AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott said he's appointed a Texas Task Force on Concert Safety after eight people died at the Astroworld Festival in Houston. Hundreds more were injured during the Travis Scott concert and three remain hospitalized.
According to a release from the governor's office, the task force will consist of safety experts, law enforcement, firefighters, state agencies, music industry leaders, and others. They will analyze concert safety and develop ways to enhance security at live music events in Texas.
It'll be headed by Brendan Anthony. As director of the Texas Music Office, Anthony is in charge of the state's music business development and helps to move industry professionals and their businesses to Texas. That's according to his online bio. He was appointed by Gov. Abbott in 2015.
As for why Abbott created the task force, his office included this quote in his release.
"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," said Governor Abbott. "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."
In addition to music industry representatives to be announced in the coming days, the task force will consist of representatives from the following organizations:
- Texas Music Office
- Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas
- Sheriffs' Association of Texas
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Texas Municipal Police Association
- Texas Police Chiefs Association
- Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
- Texas State Association of Fire Fighters
Investigators believe a crowd surge during Scott's concert contributed to the deaths because victims couldn't breathe and some were trampled.
The FBI and Houston Police Department have launched a criminal investigation into what happened. They're also looking at reports of drugs at the festival, including the possibility some were laced with fentanyl.