Harris County to launch review of NRG Park in relation to Astroworld Festival deaths

Harris County commissioners approved a review of NRG Park's safety plans after the Nov. 5 Astroworld Festival in Houston at their meeting Nov. 15. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County commissioners approved a review of NRG Park's safety plans after the Nov. 5 Astroworld Festival in Houston at their meeting Nov. 15. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)

Harris County commissioners approved a review of NRG Park's safety plans after the Nov. 5 Astroworld Festival in Houston at their meeting Nov. 15. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)

Editor's Note: This article was updated to clarify information about the nature of the Commissioners Court independent review of NRG Park.

Updated Nov. 16 at 6:39 p.m.


Harris County officials will conduct an independent review into NRG Park's safety plans after the venue's Nov. 5 Astroworld Festival left 10 dead. The review received unanimous approval by Harris County commissioners at a special-called meeting Nov. 15.

The review will be conducted independently of any investigations that are ongoing. According to Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, the approved motion directs the county attorney to evaluate “the security, fire, life and safety plans of all scheduled outdoor concerts on NRG Park property."

The review will be conducted in coordination with the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp., the Harris County Houston Sports Authority and the Houston mayoral office. The review will not interfere with the Houston Police Department’s ongoing criminal investigation, County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.



Hidalgo initially proposed the county conduct an independent investigation on the Astroworld tragedy, however after discussing the suggestion in executive session, commissioners ultimately voted on a motion from Garcia to conduct an independent review of NRG Park instead.

“While the ... Houston Police Department pursues its investigation into any possible criminal elements and the courts determine possible civil liability, I still think that we should do more,” Hidalgo said. “The responsible thing to do is to take a big-picture look at all the things that happened because ... we all know that it's a complicated web of entities that were involved in making this event a possibility.”

The commissioners’ decision came one day after the death of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, the 10th person to die from injuries sustained at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival. Blount and Bharti Shahani, a 22-year-old Texas A&M University student who died Nov. 10, were both put on life support following injuries they sustained at the concert, county officials said.

“My hope is that whatever we learn will inform other jurisdictions because this kind of thing has happened before, not here, but there have been tragedies before,” Hidalgo said.

By Emily Lincke

Reporter, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Emily joined Community Impact Newspaper in August 2021 after working for a small town newspaper in El Campo, TX for two years. Before that, she interned and freelanced for the Houston Chronicle and worked as a freelance photographer and writer in the Houston area. A controversial fact about Emily is that she prefers sugar cookies over chocolate chip cookies. She graduated with a print journalism degree from the University of Houston in 2018.



MOST RECENT

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

A health expert with Baylor College of Medicine provides advice to stay safe and healthy while celebrating Thanksgiving with family. (Karolina Grabowska/Pexels)
Baylor College of Medicine: Tips for staying safe and healthy this Thanksgiving as the pandemic continues

Check out some helpful advice from a medical expert on how to stay safe and healthy during Thanksgiving.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.

Bill Curci is a chief operating partner for Shuck Me, a seafood restaurant in Fort Worth. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Fort Worth restaurant Shuck Me is fishing- and family-centric; a guide to Houston's 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 23.

PTSD Foundation of America seeks to reduce veteran suicides

An average of 17.2 veterans died by suicide daily in 2019—a 36% increase from 2001, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in September.

Hebrews Coffeehouse specializes in coffee flights, an assortment of four specialty coffees with flavors changed every two weeks. (Courtesy Hebrews Coffeehouse)
From coffee trailer to storefront: Meet the owners of Hebrews Coffeehouse on FM 1488

​​​​​​​“Once we had a coffeehouse and people were coming into that house-type environment and then you start to see relationships flourish, that’s what makes our hearts beat,” Geoff said. “Coffee was a catalyst for that.”

Texas Medical Center coronavirus update: ICU numbers drop almost 20%; new hospitalizations plateau

Heading into Thanksgiving, here is the status of COVID-19 in Texas Medical Center hospitals.

Read below to find out where to donate items or money to local organizations. (Photo courtesy Canva)
Where to donate for Thanksgiving this year in Houston

For those looking to give items or monetary donations for Thanksgiving this year, check out these organizations that help feed Houstonians on Thanksgiving.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during Winter Storm Uri in February. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand

The state's electric grid manager also said extreme weather could once again result in outages.

Cable television jewelry channel Shop LC will relocate its headquarters to Cedar Park with a $50 million capital investment. (Courtesy city of Cedar Park)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Shopping network moving headquarters to Cedar Park; affordable housing projects come online in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 22.

Bluewater Seafood will celebrate its 25th anniversary with live music and food and drink specials Dec. 10-11. (Courtesy Bluewater Seafood)
Bluewater Seafood celebrating 25th anniversary in December

The restaurant will celebrate at all three of its Houston-area locations.