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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Astroworld film ready for release despite lawyers’ concerns

by Juan A. Lozano

HOUSTON ( Associated Press) — The experience of panicked concertgoers who couldn’t breathe and had no clear way to escape the huge crowds at last year’s deadly Astroworld music festival in Houston was set to escape the massive crowd, according to a release Friday. Shown in a documentary set for

But lawyers for Live Nation, which is being sued for its role as the festival’s promoter, say they are concerned that publicity from the documentary, “Concert Crush: The Travis Scott Festival Tragedy,” “tainted the jury pool”. Can do. A false order has been issued in the case, but Live Nation’s lawyers say a lawyer who filed a lawsuit related to the tragedy also co-produced the documentary.

The film’s director Charlie Min said he believed he had made a balanced and fair film that tried to show the public what happened.

“My job is to make the most truthful, honest, honest documentaries from the perspective of the victim … We need to know about these stories to prevent this from happening again,” Min told the Associated Press.

Nearly 500 lawsuits have been filed since a November 5 concert titled by popular rapper Scott. Ten people were killed and hundreds more were injured as the massive crowd gathered. Scott is also facing trial.

The documentary, which opens in 11 Texas cities, including Austin, Dallas, and Houston, includes interviews with several people who survived the crowds. The film also has cellphone videos shot by the concertgoers in which people can be heard repeatedly shouting for help.

Frank Alvarez said, “It’s hard to explain to friends and family what we saw and what we were really going through and I think (the documentary) would give a lot of people a chance to understand, if you weren’t there.” Attended concerts but does not appear in the film.

The film sheds light on what concert-goers experienced and what led to the tragedy, said Min, who spoke about the deadly 2018 shooting at a suburban Houston high school and the violence at the US-Mexico border. He has also made documentaries.

The film suggests that Scott could have done more to prevent situations that led to casualties, but Min said it was not a “hit piece towards Travis Scott”. He said it also questions whether Live Nation and others, including Houston Police, could have done more to improve security or to respond more quickly to threats. Min said Scott, Live Nation and Houston Police declined to be interviewed for the documentary. Houston Police is investigating the disaster.

In a report released this month, a task force created by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed problems with permits for such events and called for “clearly outlined triggers” to stop such shows. Did.

Live Nation’s attorney expressed her concern this month in a letter to the state’s District Judge Kristen Hawkins, who is looking into all pre-trial cases at the trial.

Neil Mane and Kevin Yankowski, two attorneys for Live Nation, wrote, “The film is trying to raise important issues regarding the involvement of plaintiffs’ attorneys, and the filmmakers and producers’ efforts to taint the jury pool for it. ” letter.

But lawyers have not asked Hawkins to take any specific action regarding the documentary.

Mane and Yankowski did not respond to emails seeking comment. Live Nation has said it was “heartbroken” by what happened but denied responsibility.

Scott’s lawyers said in an email Thursday that they do not know whether they have seen the documentary, and referred to concerns raised by Live Nation when asked if they had any issues with it.

“Mr. Scott is focused on his philanthropic work in his hometown of Houston and in low-income communities of color across the country, both of which have been striving for a long time,” his lawyers said.

Cassandra Burke Robertson, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said she would be shocked if the judge took any action regarding the documentary, even with a gag order, because of First Amendment concerns.

“I think what happened and the public interest here to avoid similar tragedies in the future, it’s a really big interest. This particular trial is likely to outweigh the interests of the particular outcome,” Robertson said.

Brent Coon, a lawyer representing the roughly 1,500 concertgoers interviewed in the documentary, said he doesn’t think the film will affect the ability to choose an impartial jury if the case goes to trial, which could be years away.

“I don’t think any lawyer in this case can turn the flames so much… what the public perception is going to be about all of this,” Coon said.

Robertson, who is not involved in the lawsuit, said one of the film’s co-producers, Rick Ramos, representing the concerts that have filed the lawsuit, may raise some ethical concerns. It was unclear how Ramos was benefiting financially from his involvement in the documentary.

Ramos declined to comment on Thursday.

“I personally would not co-sponsor anything like this during pending civil litigation. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. It’s something I wouldn’t do,” Coon said.

Min said the questions asked about Ramos’ involvement were legitimate but he never concealed his involvement.

“People have to see the movie and judge it for what it is,” Min said.

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Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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