DALLAS — A universal event permitting process and clear guidelines about when to stop a show are among the recommendations released Tuesday in a report from the Texas Task Force on Concert Safety.
Gov. Greg Abbott formed the task force after 10 concertgoers died at the Astroworld music festival in Houston in November.
An out-of-control crowd surged toward the stage crushing and suffocating victims.
The recommendations cited an “inconsistent” permitting process in Texas, with rules varying from one jurisdiction to another.
“The truth is as you cross from municipality to municipality, the rules change,” said attorney Ryan Thompson.
Thompson’s law firm represents a 14-year-old who was one of 17 people shot at a concert in Dallas in April. A 26-year-old man died at the event.
Dallas police said the concert had about 2,000 people in a southern Dallas field, yet it had no permit and no emergency plan.
In the days after the concert, Dallas leaders said DPD and the city attorney’s office would work together to review procedures and determine if new city ordinances are needed to hold promoters accountable, ensure adequate public safety at events and regulate permitting processes.
The task force report recommends local authorities stop any show determined to have been organized without a permit or that has violated the terms of the permit.
“If the things they talked about in the governor’s task force report had happened for this event, the outcome would have been different. In fact, I don’t think it would have happened,” Thompson said.
When asked if the task force recommendations might influence the direction Dallas takes with permitting, DPD responded with this statement:
“We continue to work with the city on possible changes to our existing laws to ensure the safety of those attending large-scale events, and improve the vetting and oversight process for promoters and event holders. We are open to looking at any and all recommendations in order to make our city safer. The men and women of the Dallas Police Department work to ensure all of our events are as safe as possible and comply with our city ordinances. We want people to enjoy the city of Dallas, but it should be done safely and legally.”