Travis Scott just made his first smart decision since Astroworld Fest
He's working with a committee of mayors from across the country to improve the safety of live music shows.
Travis Scott hasn’t made the best decisions following the Astroworld Fest tragedy in early November, but he may finally be on the path to enacting real change. Today, reports have surfaced of the beleaguered superstar meeting with a committee of mayors from across the country to work on improving the safety of live music shows.
According to TMZ, the last few weeks have seen Scott meet with leaders of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), a non-partisan organization of more than 1,400 mayors, as the fallout from the Astroworld Festival deaths continues reverberating throughout the nation. Reportedly, the organization is planning to create a committee comprised of members from a variety of disciplines — such as health care event management, government, public safety, and music and technology — to create safety guidelines and best practices for future shows to adhere to. One of the committee's goals is to "aggressively focus on new technologies and innovations that offer ways to address these challenges," according to an outline of the group’s goals obtained by TMZ.
No concrete details about the nature of Scott’s meetings with the USCM have been made public, and the organization’s official website makes no mention of any initiatives aimed at addressing concert safety. (The USCM did not immediately respond to Mic’s request for comment.) If this committee comes to fruition and makes tangible pushes to achieve what’s been reported, it would add sincerity to Scott’s post-tragedy actions, none more so than his recent interview with Charlamagne Tha God. During the ill-received chat with The Breakfast Club personality, Scott proposed that a solution to improve live show safety would be to turn the bracelets people wear for admission into festivals into smart devices that can track a person’s vitals and send their location in the event people get lost. That falls in line with the as-of-yet unannounced group centering their efforts on technological solutions.
This news could not have come at a better time for Scott, who has been allergic to wins in the six weeks since ten people lost their lives at his annual festival in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Last Friday, Anheuser-Busch InBev discontinued production of Scott’s Cacti hard seltzer even though the drink was selling out across the country in its first 24 hours of release in March. The day after Anheuser-Busch jumped ship, word got out Scott was removed from the Coachella 2022 lineup. A few days after his Coachella 2022 removal began circulating, his Cactus Jack Records artist Malu Trevejo took to her Instagram account threatening to “expose the behind scenes shit” of Scott’s operation if he doesn’t release her from her recording contract. And that’s all after his chat was Charlamagne was maligned publicly, including by Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing the family of 21-year-old Astroworld victim Axel Acosta, who described Scott’s public statements since the Astroworld tragedy as “lawyer-driven and calculated to shift blame from him to someone else."
A tangible connection to ensure future festivals don’t become death traps to everyone young and old will have to be central to any rehabilitation of Scott’s public image. While working with a non-partisan governmental organization would help bring change, Scott should look no further than collaborating with his Astroworld organizer, and co-defendant in a few lawsuits, Live Nation, a company whose history with safety violations makes the problems that doomed Astroworld Fest appear to be foundational issues. Following the tragedy, the Houston Chronicle research into the Occupational Health and Safety Administration records revealed 200 deaths had occurred at Live Nation events over the last 15 years. Concertgoers at Live Nation events have had dozens of people fall hard onto concrete after a railing collapsed, and others trampled after the barricade was broken due to crowd surges similar to the ones that occurred at Astroworld Fest.
Industry-wide changes to concert safety take time, and unfortunately for Scott, that means he’ll have to face the music until any work he’s done to ensure another 2021 Astroworld Fest never happens again.