This past Friday in Houston, what was supposed to be a fun night of music with headliner Travis Scott and other performers at Astroworld festival, turned into tragedy in a matter of minutes, leaving eight people dead and many more injured.
According to various outlets, general admission crowds began to surge towards the stage as a countdown to Scott’s performance ticked down. By the time the performer appeared, the crowd went wild, moshing, pushing and trampling, leaving many concertgoers struggling to breathe.
It’s not clear what caused the surge itself, but Houston police have since launched an official investigation into the 50,000+ person event.
Some reports indicate that more than 300 people were treated for injuries following the surge, and 25 people were transported to the hospital. There were also separate reports that somebody in the crowd was injecting others with drugs, and several people—including a security officer with an injection mark in his neck—were revived with anti-drug overdose medication.
As of Sunday, 13 people remained in hospital. Five of those patients are under 18 years old.
Those who didn’t survive range from 14 to 27 years old. Aspiring mechanical engineer Franco Patiño was 21 years old; arts and media student Jake Jurinek was 20; 16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez was a high school kid who loved dancing; 21-year-old Axel Acosta was a computer science major; Rudy Peña wanted to be a Border Patrol agent; John Hilgert was in ninth grade; and Danish Baig was a district manager at AT&T. At time of press, one victim remains unidentified.
Not initially. Reports indicate that Scott continued performing as people collapsed in front of him. One video shows Travis pausing when he spotted an ambulance, but then the concert continued. Several concertgoers have since spoken to various media outlets, claiming the crowd would attempt to shout for help in between songs, but nothing was done.
According to the Houston Chronicle, first responders declared a “mass casualty” event at 9:38 p.m., roughly half an hour after Scott’s set kicked off. The concert was eventually shut down around 10:15 p.m., after the performer finished his planned setlist and Drake had joined him onstage for the final few songs.
Some reports note that organizers were fearful of a raging crowd if the event was cut short. Meanwhile, the second night of the festival was also cancelled as organizers learned the extent of the injuries and casualties.
Following the tragedy Scott, who was also an Astroworld organizer, took to social media to update everyone, something he says he will continue to do as more information comes to light. He also revealed he is issuing full refunds to everyone who attended the event, and he is fully cooperating with authorities.
“Anytime I could make out anything that was going on I stopped the show and helped them get the help they needed,” he said in a video, saying he’s devastated. “I could just never imagine the severity of the situation. We’ve been working closely with everyone just to get to the bottom of this.”
The 30-year-old has also since pulled out of the upcoming Day N Vegas Festival. He was scheduled to perform at the November 13 event alongside Lil Baby, Doja Cat and Kendrick Lamar.
Roddy Rich had played ahead of Scott at Astroworld, and he has since pledged his earnings to the families of those involved. “Please have the families of those who we lost yesterday reach out,” he posted on his Instagram stories. “I’ll [be] donating my net compensation to the families of the incident.”
Other acts included SZA, Yves Tumor, Toro Y Moi, Metro Boomin, Don Toliver, Lil Baby and Master P. They all performed on what was called the “Thrills” stage. Scott’s set took place on the “Chills” stage.
Drake posted a message on his Instagram on November 8 saying he'd spent "the past few days trying to wrap" his mind around the devastating events and that his "heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering.
Travis’ partner, Kylie Jenner, who is pregnant with their second child, also attended the concert with their daughter, Stormi. Following the tragedy Kylie addressed her own fans on social media.
“Travis and I are broken and devastated,” she wrote on her Instagram stories Saturday night. “I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing.”
Over the weekend, many others chimed in online to criticize what happened, including people who were at the concert.
As authorities continue to do their thing, the lawsuits have begun. One concertgoer who was injured is suing Scott, as well as entertainment company Live Nation, promoter Scoremore and others involved in the event. Another person who was severely injured has also filed a suit against Scott and Drake, claiming they “incited mayhem” from the stage.
Considering there were roughly 50,000 people at NRG Park when the concert took place on Friday night, many more suits are expected to follow. It’s not a good look for Travis, who was previously charged for disorderly conduct in 2017 for a show in Arkansas. Plus, back in 2015, he pled guilty to charges of reckless conduct after he suggested that fans push through barriers and mount the stage during a festival in Chicago.
Our thoughts go out to all of the victims and their families.