The company responsible for securing the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival where Dave Chappelle was attacked onstage is repordtedly the same company that provided security for Travis Scott’s 2021 Astroworld Festival, which ended in disaster.
Contemporary Services Corporation, one of the largest event security firms in the country, has come under scrutiny for failing to keep Isiah Lee from attacking Dave Chappelle during his set at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on May 3. Lee ran onstage with replica gun that had a knife attached to it and tackled Dave, before Lee was able to be detained by security personnel. According to a Buzz Feed News article published on Sunday (May 8), comedian Tehran Von Ghasri said CSC guard ignored his warning that a man with a backpack and wearing a hood breached a barrier.
“She shrugged me off,” Ghasri said. “And within a minute, [Lee] had hoisted himself onstage and knocked Chappelle down.”
Another person who worked the show told Buzz Feed News there was no real hiring process and safety protocols were pushed to the side in the name of speediness.
“We were told there was going to be a big crowd and to get them in as fast as possible,” said the worker, who did not want to be named. “There were no details on what that meant and how to do it—just get them in as fast as possible.”
The company was also commissioned to safeguard Travis Scott’s 2021 Astroworld Festival that ended with 10 people being crushed to death following a crowd surge. CSC came under fire for that event as well after their hiring process was called out by those who worked security at the event.
The company also reportedly worked the Once Upon a Time in L.A. Festival where Drakeo The Ruler was killed as well as the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas in 2017, where 58 people were killed when Stephen Paddock open fired on concertgoers from a 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
The Dave Chappelle incident ended with Lee being apprehended and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. His charge has since been downgraded to three misdemeanors including possession of a weapon with intent to assault.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, who run the Hollywood Bowl, released a statement to XXL in regard to the assault of Dave Chappelle. “The safety of our artists, visitors and staff is the LA Phil’s top priority,” the statement reads. “We are reviewing our existing procedures both internally and with the assistance of outside experts so we can continue to provide a safe and secure environment at the Hollywood Bowl. We have implemented additional security measures, including an increased number of security personnel on-site to assist with bag checks and other security procedures. We continue to cooperate with authorities in their ongoing investigation. We are unable to comment further at this time.”
CSC provides security for big events all over the U.S. including over 30 Super Bowls and multiple presidential inaugurations. According to its website, “Contemporary Services Corporation is recognized worldwide as the pioneer, expert and only employee owned company in the crowd management field. CSC developed the concept of peer group security techniques, and through over five decades of continual refinement and evolution, CSC has successfully remained the leader in the crowd management and event security industry.”
XXL has reached out to Contemporary Services Corporation for comment.
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