Astroworld event organizers and Houston city officials were aware that the crowd at the musical festival, planned by Travis Scott, would be difficult to control. Unfortunate events had happened two years earlier as well, the last time Scott held his Astroworld festival.
For several preceding months, the organizers and city officials braced themselves, increasing officers from the Houston police department and ramping up private security hired by Lived Nation, the festival organizer.
Yet, history repeated itself.
The Houston police chief officer personally visited Scott in his trailer before the show on Friday and expressed his concerns about the immense energy in the crowd.
The energy for the festival had been building for months, especially with the guest appearance of singer/rapper Drake. The fans were completely drawn by the exuberance of experiencing music live again after the pandemic regulations.
Fans flew all the way from California and Colorado, drove from Dallas and San Antonio. Tickets went for hundreds of dollars. Young students and schoolchildren were among the 50,000 fans. The festival was completely booked.
All the anticipation soon gave way to dread almost as soon as Scott took the stage at 9 p.m. on Friday. As the concert started, the huge crowd surged uncontrollably and the worst fears of organizers and officials came to pass.
Several hundred concertgoers were trampled and crushed, and struggled to breathe as the fully-packed crowd surged towards an outdoor stage when Scott started performing.
Concertgoer, Alexis Guavin, said, “Once (Scott) started, all hell broke loose. All of what is to be 50,000 people ran to the front, compressing everyone together with little air available.”
At least ten people died and hundreds were injured at Scott’s music festival. The dead range in age from 14-27. Twenty-five people were hospitalized. Eight concertgoers were confirmed dead on November 5. A ninth victim was reported dead on November 10, according to her family’s attorney. Following, a tenth victim was declared dead on November 14, who had been in a medically induced coma.
The Astroworld concert ended 30 minutes earlier than scheduled, but nearly 40 minutes after the mass casualties. On Friday, more than 300 people were treated at a field hospital set up near the concert. One of the patients currently hospitalized is 10 years old, and was last reported to be in critical conditions. Some of the victims were in cardiac arrest as they were taken to hospitals.
The organizing company, Live Nation, issued a statement reporting they were “heartbroken for those lost and impact.”
“We will continue working to provide as much information and assistance as possible to the local authorities as they investigate the situation,” they reported.
Scott was unaware of the mass causality declaration until the following morning, his lawyer reported. In one statement released last week, Scott said he “is distraught by the situation and desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid to (the victims) as soon as possible.”
Fellow rapper Drake issued a statement, saying, “My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering. I will continue to pray for all of them and will be of service in any way I can.”
On Thursday, a Texas attorney filed a $2 billion lawsuit on behalf of the 282 victims of the deadly festival, adding to the legal woes faced by Scott and other parties involved.
Attorney Thomas Henry reported, “The defendants stood to make an exorbitant amount of money off this event, and they still chose to cut corners, cut costs, and put attendees at risk,”
“My clients want to ensure the defendants are held responsible for their actions, and they want to send the message to all performers, event organizers, and promoters that what happened at Astroworld cannot happen again,” he added.
Several lawsuits filed in the US blame the festival promoter Live Nation, Apple (which streamed the concert live), Scott’s record labels, rapper Drake, the operators of the NRG park venue, and the firms who provided security and medical services.
This tragic disaster appeared to be one of the deadliest crowd-control disasters at a concert in the United States in many years, and it poses the question of whether or not it will affect concert precautions and crowd sizes in the months to come.