Manufacturing Dissent: Astroworld tragedy stems from Live Nation’s monopoly strangulation

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By now, the tragic and preventable events that occurred at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival in Houston have garnered widespread attention across the country. A deadly combination of limited space, inadequate personnel and equipment, a frenzied deluge of fans, and an insatiable artist who ignored all red flags has become the recipe for nine dead (at least) and several hundred injured. Many viral videos and written accounts of those who attended reflect a weak but persistent fear for viewers that has become a disturbing reality.

The extremely horrified response to what happened resulted in a lackluster couple Scott’s apologies and the event organizer Live entertainment. As the lawsuits begin, the litigation will be tasked with determining who bears the most blame for the damage caused. Many parties appear to be at fault, from the Houston Police who did not take the initiative and shut down the concert after declaring it a massively casualty event, to Scott himself, who appeared to be very aware of the situation. spiral but chose to continue her set, and apparently wants all the glory to bring the “rage” but no responsibility for the destruction it causes.

As horrific as Scott’s actions are, and despite the negligence of all other authorities present at the event, Live Nation is the main villain in this story. And it’s a position they know well. According to research by the Houston Chronicle and NPR, the corporate giant has been linked with around 200 deaths and 750 injuries over the past 15 years.

From 2016 to 2019, as Live Nation tightened its grip on the concert and music festival market, 10 Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, citations were filed in connection with events under its control. The Astroworld incident alone precipitated 19 chases and counting. And yet their combined pre-settlement value is not enough to put even the smallest nick in Live Nation’s overall profits, which continue to rise year on year.

When Live Nation Entertainment merged with Ticketmaster in 2010, the industry of hosting major music events was reduced to a monopoly. After stagnating total turnover for the previous five years, the company began to steadily increase both in market share and wealth, and its turnover per year. had more than doubled in 2017. The convergence of a great event organizer and a ticketing mammoth who held 70 percent of its market solidified one of the strongest consolidations of power in American business, and the results have been disastrous.

At Astroworld, several accounts reported that there were only two water stations provided, an extremely insufficient number of staff to cater for the more than 50,000 participants and hardly anyone was CPR certified on site. The venue itself was untenable to suit the volume of tickets sold, and little to no planning was in place for crowd control and excess rushing fans.

The unsafe conditions of the concerts that are promised to be safe and its deleterious effects on spectators are a direct consequence of Live Nation’s perceived financial invincibility. It is necessary to reverse their gross consolidation of power to eradicate this deadly problem, that some legislators are beginning to recognize.

The damage to Live Nation’s reputation after Astroworld has been enormous, but will it push for changes to its security measures if there isn’t a high cost to its bottom line? Not likely. The Astroworld disaster is a long overdue impetus for our government to force companies to prioritize human life over their cheap, profit-maximizing security practices.

Camden Gilreath is a journalism student at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the Columnists do not reflect those of The post office. Want to talk more about it? Let Camden know by tweeting it @ camgilreath23.



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