8 People Died at Travis Scott’s ‘Astroworld Festival’ — Here’s Everything We Know So Far

You don’t need to be a hip hop fan to know about the tragedy that occurred at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas on the night of Friday, November 5. After concertgoers surged to the front of the stage while Scott was performing, eight people were killed and hundreds were left injured, with the youngest victim injured just 10 years old.

Fans were trampled over and people were screaming for help, in what could only be described as devastating scenes. After footage of the concert came to light, the hip hop artist has come under intense scrutiny for not stopping the show, and many have questioned whether everything that transpired could have been prevented. The 30-year-old has a rocky history, and it has been alleged that his previous performances have been riddled with safety issues. Let’s take a look at everything that we know so far.

So, What Happened?

At this point, it isn’t clear what triggered the chaos, and whether it was one event or multiple factors. Statements from public safety authorities and witness accounts are currently what is being used to piece together information. “The crowd for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed — they were unable to escape that situation,” Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña told CNN.

ICU nurse Madeline Eskins who was at the concert said things went south when Scott appeared on stage. She and her boyfriend stood by the stage at around 6:03pm and around 30 minutes before Scott took the stage, the crowd of people began to increase more and more. “All of a sudden, people come pressed up against each other, pushed forward and backward. As the timer got closer,” Eskins told CNN, “it got worse and worse.” Eskins also said: “I had constant pressure on my chest … I was being squeezed … Right when he started performing his first song, I looked at my boyfriend and said, ‘We have to get out of here.’”

“Once he 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,” another concertgoer, Alexis Guavin told CNN. “ Luckily, I have mosh pit experience and am six feet tall so I could at least put my head up to breathe, but others [were] not so fortunate.”

People Couldn’t Escape the Crowd

After the tragedy, many people have come forward and said concertgoers couldn’t escape the packed crowd when things started to get dangerous. Eskins said she and her boyfriend were stuck, and couldn’t leave the area. “I just remember looking up, passing out, and then I was in and out for a little while,” she remarked. “I didn’t see anything, but I could kind of feel what was going on. Someone pulled me over a fence, and then I passed out again.”

Authorities have said that the venue met the criteria for safe entry and exit. According to Peña, the stadium could have held 200,000 people under city fire codes, but the number was limited to 50,000. There are reports however that 100,000 tickets were up for sale, but it’s unclear how many people were at the venue during the incident, as some had jumped the barriers earlier in the day.

Officials said that all safety measures were taken, saying: “We had inspectors to ensure that the means of egress, the doors in and out of that venue, were maintained open and unobstructed.” They also claimed: “These injuries did not occur as people would try to exit the venue. And that was evident by the fact that once the event was terminated, [it] was cleared out within the hour … What we’re looking into is what caused the crowd surge.”

Videos on Twitter showed fans climbing on a platform where a camera operator was live-streaming the show for Apple Music, yelling that people were dying. Others show attendees blocking and dancing on an ambulance vehicle that was attempting to make its way through the crowd.

Drug Spiking Allegedly Occurred at the Festival

According to TMZ, “a source connected to Astroworld” said “someone in the crowd went crazy and began injecting people with some sort of drug.” The Hollywood Reporter also cited two sources, saying that “police were looking into a drug-spiking incident in an area of the festival where the chaos first began. The sources said it appeared to have been targeted at unknowing people, and that the crowd surge may have resulted from panic as attendees ran for safety.” The claims are currently being investigated by authorities. Police Chief Troy Finner did address the rumours, saying: “One of the narratives was that some individual was injecting other people with drugs.”

While they did not confirm whether that was the case, officers do have reports of a security guard who was “reaching over to restrain or grab a citizen and felt a prick in his neck.”

After examination, medics “administered Narcan” — something that is given to those who are suspected of overdosing. “He was revived and the medical staff did notice a prick that was similar to a prick that you would get if somebody is trying to inject [a person],” Finner stated.

Later on, authorities said during a press conference that Narcan had been given “several” times at the concert.

Some people have come forward to reveal that on-site medical staff were not properly equipped to deal with a tragedy. Eskins told CNN that there was only one AED machine, which is used to help people in cardiac arrest, and only one Ambu bag, which is given to those who aren’t breathing normally.

She said there were “maybe” four medics and claimed that “one of them did not even know how to check for a pulse.”

“There was only four of them doing CPR,” she said.

Did Scott Stop the Concert?

Things begin to get a little distorted at this point. According to Finner, the police department says attendees started “going down” at 9.30pm. Police officials had gotten a hold of concert organisers and let them know about the escalating problems, and the concert was cancelled 40 minutes later. Finner reportedly defended how much time it took for the event to shut down, saying: “You cannot just close when you’ve got 50,000 — over 50,000 — individuals, OK?

“We have to worry about rioting — riots — when you have a group that’s that young.”

A music critic for the Houston Chronicle’s told CNN: “[Scott] did stop the show, I want to say, three or four times when he noticed people in distress.”

Has Travis Scott Responded?

On Saturday afternoon, Scott sent out a tweet regarding events that occurred the night before. “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.” Scott also said, “Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life.”

Festival organisers also tweeted: I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.”

Later on, Scott took to his Instagram Story to directly address the tragedy saying he wasn’t aware of “the severity of the situation.”

“Anytime I could make out, you know, anything that’s going on, you know, I stop the show and, you know, help them get the help they need.”

Kylie Jenner, Scott’s girlfriend, also shared a statement on her Instagram after copping backlash for posting on social media while the incident took place. She claimed neither she nor Scott knew that people were dying or suffering serious injuries, and only found out after the show.

“Travis and I are broken and devastated,” she wrote. “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.”

Travis Scott is Now Facing a Number of Lawsuits

Scott and other organisers of the Astroworld music festival in Houston are facing a number of lawsuits over Friday’s deadly crowd surge.

So far, over a dozen people are planning on suing the performer and the ones behind Astroworld after they endured “severe injuries” due to Scott not stopping the show earlier. Attendee Manuel Souza filed a lawsuit over the weekend against Scott, Live Nation and Scoremore, and is seeking $1 million in damages.

Souza believes the incident was a “predictable and preventable tragedy” and that not enough was done to ensure the safety of those attending.

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