Astroworld Apocalypse

Alexa Ward, Editor-in-Chief

At least eight were killed and many more injured in a crowd surge during Travis Scott’s performance at the Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5.

The event was supposed to be a fun-filled two-day festival featuring performances from popular rap artists like SZA, Roddy Rich and more.

100,000 tickets sold out in under an hour back in May. Approximately 50,000 people were at Scott’s performance when the incident happened.

People had been standing waiting for hours for Scott’s performance to start. Just before he was scheduled to begin, the crowd began to surge.

“Because of the crushing pressure, people started to fall down behind me,” Taylor [last name unknown] said. “It was like a sinkhole.”

Taylor had attended the concert with her friend Seanna McCarty. Once Taylor began to have trouble breathing, they both decided they had to escape the crowd but found it near impossible.

“I kept screaming saying ‘There’s people down here please help! Back up! Go!’” Taylor said. “We were not able to move off of them quickly and more and more people began to push.”

Despite the many people that were collapsing all around, nobody was able to stop the surge and those who fell were being trampled.

“There were people below the ones I could see from above,” McCarty said. “There was a floor of bodies, of men and women, below two layers of fallen people above them.”

Taylor and McCarty were separated from each other and both found themselves doing whatever they could to help those around them struggling.

McCarty made her way to a camera platform and alerted the cameraman of the pit of people getting trampled. The videographer did not look at the pit, instead he called a security guard to escort her off of the platform, and continued filming the show.

Eventually the show was called to a pause and several people were rushed to the hospital for various reasons.

The eight victims that died have been identified as John Hilgert, Madison Dubiski, Danish Baig, Axel Acosta, Jacob Jurinek, Franco Patiño, Rudy Peña and Brianna Rodriguez. Their ages range from 14-27.

Officers, paramedics, and attendees were all calling for the show to stop completely, but the concert picked back up and continued until Scott finished his set list of songs.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner defended letting the show go on, saying that an abrupt halt could have caused a riot.

The second night of the festival was cancelled due to the mass number of casualties on the first night.

Travis Scott has also now declined to perform at the Day N Vegas Festival on Saturday, Nov. 13, with sources saying he is “too distraught to play.”

Several lawsuits have been launched against Scott, Live Nation, and the security company.

People felt uncomfortable at the concert, not just physically but in some cases, spiritually.

“He continued to play this eerie type of music,” concertgoer Eric Daniels said. “It was kind of ominous because you had all these people suffering, essentially fighting for their lives, then the music would start up again and more chaos would erupt.”

Some people have claimed they felt an strange or even demonic presence at the concert while Scott was performing.

“The energy was so demonic, the set was demonic, Travis was demonic, and we were literally in hell,” concert attendee Brooke Elliott said.

Scott posted a video of himself apologizing for the events that took place, but online critics have claimed that it looks faked, staged, and isn’t enough. Scott will also reportedly refund everybody who bought tickets.

Scott was arrested before on May 13, 2017 for encouraging the crowd to surge at one of his concerts, which caused many injuries amongst crowd goers. He was charged with Inciting a Riot, Disorderly Conduct, and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor. In 2018, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and the other charges were dismissed.

Some of the performers at the festival have said that they will help in whatever way they can.

“Please have the families of those who we lost yesterday reach out,” Roddy Rich said. “I’ll be donating my net compensation to the families of this incident #Pray4Houston.”

Some have compared how Travis handled this incident to how other artists have handled similar
incidents at their concerts.

A video has been circulating of Mike Shinoda and the late Chester Bennington of nü-metal band Linkin Park stopping in the middle of their song when they see one person in the mosh pit of their concert fall. They stop performing in the middle of their song, telling the audience that they have to look out for safety first and they would restart the song if everybody was alright.

It is unknown how many people are still in critical condition following the concert, or what will come from the several lawsuits filed against Scott.

Sources:
Variety

Dextero  

CNN
NME
ABC13
USA Today