Harris County commissioners call for independent investigation into Astroworld Festival tragedy

The Commissioners also paid tribute to the victims and their families

HOUSTON – Harris County commissioners are calling for a thorough investigation into what went wrong Friday night at the Astroworld Festival.

Commissioner’s court began Tuesday morning with county Judge Lina Hidalgo leading off with a moment of silence for those killed along with dozens of injured survivors.

Hidalgo and all but one commissioner spoke about the tragedy at the beginning of court, and the need for answers on how eight people went to a Travis Scott concert and never returned home alive.

“I’ve had someone on my team that was there and were trampled. Thankfully, her brother was able to get her out, but she is, she’s been affected,” said Commissioner Adrian Garcia of Pct. 2. “She’s deeply affected by this.”

Garcia said his staffer will need therapy to heal. He also urged other survivors who were traumatized by the event to prioritize their mental health too.

The Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner also said he supports a complete investigation, one that holds whoever was in charge of security accountable.

“They’re not there to sell tickets, they’re not there to have a record crowd, they’re not there to make it easy for profit to take place,” Garcia said. “They’re there to make sure that the event happens safely. That’s sometimes difficult when you’re hired by a promoter, but you got to own your own space.”

Hidalgo in a one-on-one interview told KPRC 2 she’s calling for an independent investigation.

“Well, I think it should be done by somebody who is not in any way involved. I think that’s key,” she said. There is a web of entities that were in some form or fashion at the table.”

Hidalgo said she also asked NRG Park for a full list of venues planned throughout the end of the year.

“I’m not concerned about it being something like this, but I think that’s why we need to figure out what happened?” she said. “Were some permits issued that shouldn’t have been? Were plans drawn up correctly that were not followed? Is there something different that NRG Park should have done?”

Harris County Pct. 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey said while the Houston community wants answers to ease the grieving process, the investigation must be thorough.

“There is a bit of a time of the essence, so I think the whole community is grieving,” Ramsey said. Obviously, our prayers are with them now, but they’re looking for answers.”

Harris County Pct. 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis said he too wants to know what went wrong but says it’s important that the investigation is timely and not rushed for all the families and survivors impacted.

“My son was there with three of his friends and I’m just glad they had no idea how bad it was until they got home and saw the news coverage,” said Ellis.

Hidalgo said the county is committed to getting thorough answers.