After a packed crowd at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, nine people died, questions arose as to who should be responsible for the tragedies.
More than a dozen cases have already been filed against Travis Scott, the rapper who hosts the annual festival in his hometown, and the organizer of the Live Nation Entertainment concert, who organized the event. But legal experts who spoke to NBC News said the debt cases were not straightforward and noted that the legal basis was mixed.
The issue is also complex because there are no national or organizational laws related to population growth or “crushing” incidents. Law shortages contradict the fact that mass crushing incidents occur several times a year in the U.S. at sporting events, Black Friday sales, religious gatherings and concerts.
“There are rules about how much rubbish is in the area or how decibels are noisy, but surprisingly few in terms of crowd control,” said Danny Cevallos, an MSNBC legal analyst.
In Texas, concert groups have the responsibility of “sound care” to protect the audience from “an extremely dangerous situation on the premises, as long as the defendants know or should have known about that dangerous situation,” Cevallos said. told NBC News.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. But that is where it can be difficult.
“I see the courts often making mistakes in the way they explain this,” said Tracy Hresko Pearl, a professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law who has done extensive research on incidents of oppression. “There is a lot of detail about the science of the masses, but instead the courts show a great deal of reliance on the general wisdom of the music genre, who was in the crowd or what the local talent was.”
This is often racist and problematic because it ignores scientific evidence, according to Pearl. He said irregularities could be considered, including local capacity, security personnel and demographics, and locations and planners were generally not found guilty.
He mentioned two cases of genocide in which the courts ruled differently. Alternatively, at the Guns N ‘Roses concert, the court found the venue guilty, meaning that the kind of fans should have made it appear that pressure was possible. In other cases, involving members of the congregation, the court ruled that the community could not anticipate the commotion.
Cevallos pointed out that in Scott’s case, it would have been extremely difficult for him, the venue or the event organizers if they had not known that there would be a riot as his concerts had other similar incidents. In 2015, he was arrested and charged with misconduct after telling a Chicago crowd not to pay attention to security and rush to the stage. In 2017, he was arrested on suspicion of inciting violence while playing in Arkansas.
“But we have to be very careful about suspicion because without a doubt the player’s job is sometimes to chase the crowd and use a hyperbole,” Cevallos said. “What about the song‘ Burning Down the House ’? Is the artist responsible for the audience member burning down the venue? “
In cases of mob violence, Pearl argued that the courts should rely on scientific findings about the evolution of the crowd, which shows that overcrowding is a very reliable indication of the potential for mass extermination. He said if a crowd has a crowd of five or more people per square meter, there is a high risk of being overwhelmed by the crowd.
Pearl advocates rules that may require meeting places to take certain steps to reduce the risk of crowd pressure, including keeping the crowd in a safe place.