Task force formed after Astroworld tragedy releases report | Festivals are making a comeback like its 2019 | Fan survey shows promising results

Concert safety task force report

Following the Astroworld tragedy, the Texas government made it a priority to form a task force to address concerns around concert safety and help prevent such incidents from happening again in the future. On Tuesday, 5 months (and hundreds of lawsuits) after the incident, the Texas Task Force on Concert Safety released a report on their findings and insights from the November 5th show in Houston.

The report outlines the major contributing factors to the tragedy which include a lack of adequate training on event security, inconsistencies in permitting processes across the state and insufficient communication. It goes on to highlight the 5 areas where improvements are needed and where organizers should prioritize their focus.

  1. A unified on-site command and control (UCC): “establishing authority and a process for pausing or canceling a show in response to a safety incident.”
  2. Permitting: permitting guidelines and best practices that should be followed by mass gatherings.
  3. Training: ensuring event staff is adequately trained for each specific event.
  4. Planning and risk assessment: having a plan and response in place to address any potential hazards at an event.
  5. Centralized resources: offering documents and other helpful resources to ensure event safety.

Festival season on the mend

Not only are we in festival season, we are in an epic festival year.

From Coachella to Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, many of the events that have been on hold for two years are finally making their comeback. After new variants surfaced and derailed plans of a 2021 return for many, the 2022 spring, summer and fall seasons are looking solid. It’s clear that the industry is finally getting back on track and the fans, artists and event staff couldn't be more excited about it.

It seems as though 2022 is on track with the pre-COVID festival season and we’ll likely see numbers like we did in 2019 (or maybe even better!). Even though challenges in the industry continue to exist, such as staffing and supply chain shortages, the problems have diminished significantly and organizers seem to be better equipped to get their events up and running. To keep up with such high demand for live to return, festivals have been popping up left, right and center. We are being introduced to new talents, welcoming back festivals that have been dormant for nearly two decades (Goldenvoice’s This Ain’t No Picnic), and seeing famous international festivals debut in the US (Primavera Sound L.A.). Nearly every week, new lineups are being announced, tickets are being released and sold in record time and brand new festivals are making their first appearance.

Naturally, obstacles that promoters faced long before COVID existed are still relevant today, from weather disruptions to artist cancellations. Nonetheless, the challenges are nothing new and nothing organizers can’t navigate through.

It will no doubt be a year to remember.

The numbers never lie

If you haven’t already been convinced that the live event industry is continuing to make a strong comeback, take a look for yourself at this report.

Event Genius surveyed 12,000 participants across the UK, Europe and the US to gather information on their plans to return to live events, how likely they are to return and what factors play a role in their decisions. The results also give some very useful insights into what event organizers can do to prepare to welcome back their fans. Understanding the audience is a huge first step to creating an event to remember.

Some of the interesting insights with regards to the US fans:

  • Fans are spending 3x more on their domestic event trips now compared to before.
  • Outdoor multi-day festivals are the most popular type that fans have booked tickets for.
  • 60% have booked a ticket for an event abroad or are planning to go.
  • 82% said a clear cancellation policy is a very important factor in their decision to book tickets.

Looks like some promising numbers and it's clear that the industry is making one heck of a comeback.