Commissioners approve new agreement between city, Harris County over responsibilities at NRG Park after deadly Astroworld Festival

The city-county agreements come a little more than a year after 10 people died at the Astroworld Festival in 2021

Astroworld, 1 year later: Tips on staying safe in large, dense crowds

HOUSTON – Harris County commissioners voted to approve the new potential agreement between Harris County and the City of Houston over their responsibilities at NRG Park.

The consensus comes a little more than a year after 10 people lost their lives because of a crowd crush at the Astroworld Festival on Nov. 5, 2021.

For the last year, families watched as city and county leaders fumbled for answers to their questions of accountability.

The Astroworld Festival took place at NRG Park, a venue within the overlapping jurisdictions of Houston and Harris County.

According to county documents, the commissioners’ court directed the county administrator on Nov. 15, 2021 to meet with organizations to review “security, fire, life and safety plans” of outdoor concerts on NRG Park property.

In an hour-long documentary, KPRC 2 Investigates examined what went wrong and what needed to be done to prevent another mass causality incident from happening in Houston. Crowd crush experts, emergency responders and others pointed to the importance of proper planning, documenting safety plans and crowd management.

“The problem started long before the crisis stage when it was finally acknowledged that this was out of control,” said Paul Wertheimer, founder of Crowd Management Strategies/Crowdsafe.

In the new agreement, the entities are focusing on events with more than 6,000 attendees.

The event host will need to provide an “Event Security Plan or Event Medical Plan” before it takes place.

According to the agreement, event planners will participate in regularly scheduled meetings with representation from the Houston Fire Department, Houston Police Department, Mayor’s Office of Special Events, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, NRG Park, and others.

Appointed representatives from HFD or HPD can reject presented event plans.

Determination of if a Unified Command Center is needed depends on the event. Selected representatives will have the power to shut down an event if it gets out of hand.

The agreement states, “The Parties expressly reserve all rights to recoup costs expended for emergency response caused by a deviation from the Event Security Plan or Event Medical Plan, subject to the appropriation of funds by a Party’s governing body, if applicable.”

SEE MORE:

Astroworld Tragedy: New agreement details NRG Park mass event planning after deadly festival

KPRC 2 Investigates presents new documentary ‘Astroworld: Countdown to Tragedy’

Former HPD Commander says Astroworld Festival ended his career

KPRC 2 Investigates: HFD’s Official Astroworld Concert Activity Log

KPRC 2 Investigates: HFD’s Official Astroworld Concert Activity Log

A year after Astroworld Festival deaths, no clear answers on accountability

Astroworld, 1 year later: Tips on staying safe in large, dense crowds


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