IN EARLY NOVEMBER, the city marked a terrible anniversary, one year since the Travis Scott Astroworld music festival tragedy at which 10 young lives were lost, and numerous others were injured both physically and mentally. In a year’s time, sadly, little has been done by the city to make changes in security policies or responsibilities. The one exception might be the formation of the Pink Bows Foundation, developed by the parents of beautiful Madison Dubiski, one of the victims.
It began organically. In the wake of the disaster, people around Houston started displaying “Pink Bows for Madison.” The grassroots movement spread, and people across the country and around the world began wearing pink shirts, adorning their homes and businesses with pink decor, and using the #pinkbowsformadison hashtag.
But the Dubiskis realized that the movement was special, and that all victims from that day should be honored, their passing not in vain. So on May 1, 2022, which would have been Madison’s 24th birthday, the Pink Bows Foundation was formed to advocate safety and security reform at live events, to prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the future. Fundraising has been robust, with the likes of Christian Louboutin and Saks Fifth Avenue supporting with donations and in-store events. There’s a “Bingo and Bubbles” event planned for February at Minute Maid Park.
Safety and security are the first priority of the Pink Bows Foundation. The organization, of which I’m proud to serve as president, believes that things do not end up wrong. They start off wrong. And if all safety protocols are not followed, the consequences could be devasting.
Pink Bows Foundation mission is to promote stronger safety protocols … consistently implemented at entertainment venues, while providing safe spaces and protecting attendees to prevent avoidable injuries or death.
The first priority is to heighten the awareness of safety measures at large venues. Having better trained security personnel, enough exits, wider aisles for traffic, and an independent firm with the authority to halt an event should crowd control become unruly is vital. Additionally, the envisioned Pink Bows Safe Space would create a place within a festival or live concert venue where attendees can go when they feel overwhelmed or if they become uncomfortable with event safety and security.
At large events, attendees can feel scared, helpless and voiceless when they have concerns about their safety. Often, event staff and security personnel lack the training to identify and mitigate dangerous crowd dynamics. Moreover, promoters and venue managers can be slow to make safety decisions that could adversely impact the profits. The Pink Bows Safe Space will serve as a sanctuary for people who are overwhelmed at a venue, offering a seat for those who need a break, water for those who are dehydrated, someone to talk to and more.
Pink Bows strives to cooperate with promoters and venues as a valued safety and security partner. We hope the Pink Bows Safe Place will become a visible symbol of safety and security for attendees.