US rapper Travis Scott has set up a new initiative, Project HEAL, following last November’s Astroworld tragedy which saw the deaths of 10 people and hundreds of injuries in a crowd surge at the 50,000-capacity Live Nation festival.
The initiative will direct $5m funding into four areas, covering a scholarship fund that he launched in 2020, an expansion of the CACT.US Youth Design Center, free mental health resources, and a US Conference of Mayors Task Force of Event Safety.
The initiative’s website states that the project has been designed to bring together stakeholders from government, public safety, emergency response, health care, event management, music, and technology departments to research ways to make further large-scale events as safe as possible.
It said, “At the conclusion of this research, HEAL, together with the US Conference of Mayors, will assist in the creation of a comprehensive report of recommendations to be presented formally and distributed to key stakeholders for adoption, including every Mayor of every town and city which hosts large-scale events.
“HEAL will work towards advocating that this report serves as the new safety and security blueprint for all festivals and large-scale events.”
Scott said on Instagram, “My team and I created Project HEAL to take much needed action towards supporting real solutions that make all events the safest spaces they can possibly be. I will always honour the victims of the Astroworld tragedy who remain in my heart forever.
“Giving back and creating opportunities for the youth is something I’ve always done and will continue to do as long as I have the chance. This program will be a catalyst to real change and I can’t wait to introduce the rest of the technology and ideas we’ve been working on.”
The grandparents of Astroworld’s youngest victim have criticised the initiative, calling it a publicity stunt that violates the gag order placed on the hundreds of lawsuits filed. The victim’s father and mother have asked a judge to amend the gag order put in place last month to block Scott from making such announcements.