Phoenix concert promoters emphasize safety protocols after Astroworld Festival tragedy

The Phoenix area has many venues for concerts, both big and small, including a concert happening Saturday night for pride week.

The event comes less than a day after eight people died at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas. Amid the cheers and music at the festival, screams broke out Friday night.

Fans rushed the stage all at once to catch a glimpse of the performer, and some survivors reported moments where it was so crowded, they were unable to breathe.

Now, the incident is prompting discussions nationwide on safety and security at concerts and festivals – that includes Phoenix.

"Obviously anytime there are people in danger, and people actually getting hurt, it's horrible. As I said, it's always our paramount concern," said Jeremy Helfgot, spokesperson for Phoenix Pride.

He's working with security teams at this weekend's festival at Steele Indian School Park. While it is a smaller venue, compared to the 50,000 plus packed crowd in Houston, he says they certainly have concerns, and they take the necessary precautions. 

"We are constantly in consultation with all levels of government, as well as private medical staff that we contract. So safety, security and health are always paramount priorities," Helfgot explained.

For safety reasons, he couldn't get into detail on their security procedures, but he says in his four years of helping to organize this event, he has never had any major issues.

But, they're not leaving anything to chance. 

"We want to keep all of our people safe. The people attending, our staff our members, everyone's safety is paramount," Helfgot said.

History of fun turning into a tragedy

Tragedies like the one Friday night at the Astroworld Music Festival have been happening for a long time. In 1979, 11 people died in a scramble to enter a Cincinnati, Ohio, concert by The Who. At the Hillsborough soccer stadium in England, a human crush in 1989 led to nearly 100 deaths. In 2015, a collision of two crowds at the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia caused more than 2,400 deaths, based on an Associated Press count of media reports and officials’ comments.

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