HOUSTON – A United States Senate hearing focused on “Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment,” specifically related to Live Nation was held on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. last week.
However, the hearing was not focused on the deadly 2021 Astroworld Festival. Instead, it stemmed from the recent ticket controversy involving Taylor Swift.
Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn sit on the committee and heard various questions regarding the challenges the public face when purchasing tickets for big shows. There was even a call for action, “What we’ve heard today does cry out for some response by Congress,” said Senator Cornyn.
However, nearly 15 months after Astroworld and there are still no questions regarding the deaths of 10 people - including children.
Jerry Mickelson, a venue promoter based in Chicago, made reference to the Astroworld tragedy to all 22 members in his prepared statements, saying that the “tragedy could have been prevented,” citing a music festival that was improperly produced.
KPRC 2 Investigates spoke with Mickelson from his office in the Windy City Monday morning, asking why he referenced Astroworld in his prepared statements.
“Live Nation has a history of really not caring about the fans. That was the reason I put it in there,” said Mickelson
Yet, even though there were two Texas Senators in attendance, including Cruz from Houston, there was no mention of Astroworld.
Mickelson admitted that he is uncertain of what congressional avenues can even be taken following the deadly event.
“I don’t know what Congress can do to hold them accountable,” said Mickelson.
A congressional oversight committee, that includes U.S. Representative Al Greed, did demand answers from Live Nation over a month following the tragedy.
But still no answers.
“Nothing has been done for 10 people dying and over 300 people being injured. I just don’t get it,” said Mickelson.
When we asked if after 50 years as a promoter whether or not he has ever seen Washington take action for the safety of concertgoers, Mickelson made his response clear.
“I can’t recall Congress taking an action about concert safety,” he said.
Rep. Green’s office did forward the following statement on Monday afternoon regarding where things stand with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform:
“As to date, I, along with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, have requested an inquiry into Live Nation Entertainment. Live Nation provided a response that was received by the Committee as a document not to be published. I do not agree with the response that they have sent and as a result, I have also contacted the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and asked them to investigate. I am including the DOJ response. News accounts of the tragedy that occurred have given me reason to believe that persons responsible for this activity knew or should have known that this kind of tragedy could take place. Someone must be held accountable. The victims and their families deserve no less.”
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