SXSW Adds Panel Session to Address Rising Tide of Violence and Tragedy – and What Can be Done About It

Las Vegas Shooting Survivor Drew Brown and Virginia Tech Shooting Survivor Kristina Anderson Will Speak on LiveSafe Sponsored Panel

Arlington, Virginia, UNITED STATES

ARLINGTON, Va., March 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- South by Southwest® (SXSW®) has announced the addition of a panel discussion sponsored by LiveSafe - “Turning Tragedy into Action” - featuring LiveSafe co-founder and Virginia Tech shooting survivor Kristina Anderson, Production Manager for Jason Aldean and Las Vegas shooting survivor Drew Brown, and event safety pioneer and founder of the Event Safety Alliance, Jim Digby.

“Turning Tragedy into Action” Session Description:
Tragedy can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Through the telling of first hand stories, hear valuable insight into how you can prepare and react during a tragic incident. Developing an event safety plan is essential for any organization coordinating large-or-small scale events, but these tools can also be used in everyday life and beyond. 

“As survivors of two of the most horrific tragedies in the last 10 years, Kristina and Drew bring a real-life, real-world perspective to the challenge of ending the violence that plagues our society, our schools, and our culture,” said Carolyn Parent, CEO, LiveSafe. “Their participation and the focus of this session reinforce the importance of moving forward and taking action so that these tragedies do not define us.”

“Turning Tragedy into Action” takes place March 15th at 5:00 PM in Room 15, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX.  Panelists include:

Kristina Anderson
Kristina Anderson is one of the most critically injured survivors of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting that took the lives of 32 students & faculty and injured 17 more and remains the worst school shooting in modern U.S. history. There were at least 18 advanced warning signs of troubling behavior by the shooter, yet a centralized system for reporting and assessing potentially threatening behavior did not exist.  And this was not unique – in virtually all instances of violence, abuse, and workplace injury, there have been signs of impending trouble, but people with important information have rarely come forward to supply critical information to safety officials.

Kristina co-founded LiveSafe, a startup company that believed new technology – smartphone apps and cloud computing – could be leveraged to enable incident prevention in ways that current systems did not.  Today LiveSafe has more than 200 university and corporate clients using their advanced incident prevention solution, and LiveSafe is building a nationwide community around preventing these incidents in the future.

Today Kristina runs the Koshka Foundation for Safe Schools, a nonprofit dedicated to helping first responders, local community and school stakeholders work together to prevent, respond and heal in the aftermath of school violence.

Drew Brown
Drew Brown has nearly 20 years of experience in entertainment and event production management.  He has been the production manager for Jason Aldean since 2015 and is a survivor of the 2017 Las Vegas shootings.   Drew was a Final Nominee for the 2017 CMA Touring Awards Production Manager Category and has worked with a wide variety of acts including Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram, Ben Kweller, Reckless Kelly and NeedtoBreathe.  Drew is a graduate of Texas Tech University.

Jim Digby
Jim Digby is a 30+ year veteran of the live music and event production industry. He is highly experienced in domestic and international live event execution, team building, partnership development, and crisis management as applied to the successful execution of global entertainment production. He is a vocal advocate for the advancement and application of safety controls and education within the live event sector, and is a highly regarded keynote speaker on life safety issues, career mentoring, and live events as a force for positive social change. He currently serving as Director of Touring and Production for platinum-selling artists Linkin Park, and is the founder and Chairman of the Event Safety Alliance®

Today, LiveSafe also announced that SXSW Conference and Festivals has selected LiveSafe, the world’s leading mobile safety communications solution for use by staff and volunteers at SXSW 2018, March 9-18, 2018 in Austin, TX. SXSW staff and volunteers – nearly 5,000 people – will use LiveSafe to report concerning behavior or safety concerns and identify facility issues or risks in real-time.  That press release is available at .

Media attending SXSW that are interested in attending the session and/or arranging interviews with LiveSafe or the panelists should contact

About Koshka Foundation
Founded after the school tragedy of Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, the Koshka Foundation was started to ensure the memory of April 16th is continued in meaningful ways. Dedicated towards impacting school safety and student education initiatives, its vision is a world that strongly believes in the power of youth and awareness as the greatest assets to a safer future.

The foundation’s work is focused on 3 goals:

  • Improving campus safety
  • Empowering student activism
  • Forging connections between survivors of various causes

About South by Southwest
The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.

South By Southwest dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.

About LiveSafe
LiveSafe is the world’s leading mobile safety communications platform delivering actionable crowdsourced safety and security intelligence, preventing incidents before they occur and connecting people to the help they need. LiveSafe is used by more than 150 forward-thinking enterprises, universities and organizations including Hearst, Cox Communications, the San Francisco 49ers and many others. LiveSafe can be downloaded for free from the Google Play or iTunes app stores.  Follow LiveSafe on Twitter @LiveSafe, and learn more at

Press & Analyst Contact:
Alan Mangelsdorf
(845) 235-4628