Investigation Into The Astroworld Tragedy Just Got Even More Serious

Weeks after a crowd surging tragedy at the Astroworld music festival in Houston killed 10 people and injured scores of others on November 5, it seems investigations into what caused the horrific event are not only underway, but they're ramping up. In the nearly two months since the tragedy, inquiries into the goings-on of that fateful day — co-led by local Houston authorities and members of the FBI — have already done their best to dispel widely-circulated rumors about the veracity of any contributing factors. (Among the biggest: That an Astroworld security guard who became unconscious during the melee was hit on the head, not spiked with drugs against his will, per the BBC.)

Although it may be some time until whether or not rapper Travis Scott, one of the leading organizers for the event, will be found legally culpable for the Astroworld tragedy, it seems a possible next phase of the investigation could make answers available sooner rather than later. And considering a December statement made by members of Congress, "sooner" seems to be a safe bet.

Congress is opening up an investigation into Astroworld

As NBC News reported on December 22, members of the House Oversight Committee, comprised of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, released a statement in which they announced their intention to launch an investigation into the Astroworld tragedy in November. The letter — addressed to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino — whose company was the music festival's leading promoter — stated that reports "[raised] serious concerns" over whether the company took "adequate steps to ensure the safety of the 50,000 concertgoers who attended" the live music festival. Adding that current reports "indicate that security and medical staff were inexperienced or ill-equipped to deal with mass injuries," the committee also found testimonies which stated "the placement of barricades [at Astroworld] made it difficult to escape" deeply troubling. 

The statement also noted that members of the committee were "deeply saddened by the deaths that occurred at Astroworld Festival," and it asserted that they "are committed to investigating what went wrong to inform possible reforms that could prevent future tragedies." The memo also gave Live Nation a deadline of January 7, 2022, to submit all information relevant to their investigation, per TMZ.

As of this writing, Scott hasn't addressed the House Oversight Committee's statement, but TMZ reported on December 12 that the singer has met with "leaders from government and music" in hopes of forming a committee that will tackle concert safety concerns.