On Friday night, after the Houston Music Festival ended in tragedy, officials were looking for answers when there were at least 8 people (14 of the youngest) in a crowd when hip-hop star Travis Scott performed. Killed when facing the stage. As the ambulance rushed in, the show continued, and more people were injured.
This disaster is the deadliest disaster in a U.S. concert since the 2017 Las Vegas Country Music Festival mass shooting. Kurt’s performance unfolded, he founded the Astroworld Festival in 2018.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (Sylvester Turner) said at a press conference on Saturday that this was a “tragedy on many different levels” and vowed that “this incident is being thoroughly investigated.” Turner said that the seven people identified among the dead ranged in age from 14 to 27. He said there were “many unresolved issues” that might take weeks to investigate. The eighth person, who he said is a male, is still unidentified.
Judge Lena Hidalgo, the highest-ranking elected official in Harris County, said at a press conference: “This tragedy is likely to be the result of unpredictable events and unavoidable circumstances.” “But we are sure of this. Before, I would ask some tough questions.”
Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Peña said that officials estimated that when the crowd began to “crush to the front of the stage,” about 50,000 people participated in the outdoor activities at NRG Park. “This caused some panic and started to cause some harm.” Peña added that the festival was far below the capacity of 200,000 people allowed by fire regulations.
Witnesses described a scene of chaos and destruction.
“It’s like a ripple effect. One person pushes and everyone is gone,” said Gerardo Abad Garcia, 25, from Denver, who put his arms on his chest to show how he was “compressed like a canned sardine.” “of.
“There seems to be no airflow. It’s like primitive instinct: I have to go out,” Garcia said.
About 30 minutes later, during a live broadcast on Apple Music, Scott noticed the blue and red lights flashing on the festival floor. He said: “There is an ambulance in the crowd. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.
After a one-minute pause, Scott announced, “You all know what you are here for,” the music played again and the concert continued.
Although the official stated that the episode “ends early for public safety”, Scott’s 25 Astroworld performances lasted about 40 minutes and ended with the same two songs “Sicko Mode” and “Goosebumps”. Rolling Loud Music Festival in October in New York.
Houston Police Chief Troy Fenner said the police will close the event as soon as possible.
At 9:30, there, several people began to fall. Our people stepped forward and immediately went to the producer and told him that people were falling. The show ended at 10:10 in the evening,” Fenner said.
“When you have 50,000 people so young, you can’t just shut down. You can have riots,” he said.
According to Mayor Turner, there were 528 police officers and 755 security guards provided by the concert company Live Nation.
According to officials, 25 people were taken to the local hospital by ambulance; 5 of them were under 18 years old. A 10-year-old child is in critical condition. Officials said that some victims suffered cardiac arrest, but the autopsy of the deceased is still awaiting.
As of Saturday, four survivors have been discharged from hospital.
Officials said that at least one of the security guards felt the needle “sting” and lost consciousness in response to the surge in crowds and received nacan treatment for opioid overdose.
Fenner said: “He regained consciousness and the medical staff did notice a sting, similar to a sting that someone tried to inject you.” He added that in addition to the homicide investigation, his department also launched a drug investigation.
Fire Chief Penha said his staff gave Narcan to several people at the concert. Turner said officials are investigating whether multiple people have been attacked by needles, saying the city “has not taken any measures.”
Scott issued a statement on Twitter saying that he was “very shocked by what happened last night. My family and all those affected by the Astroworld Festival incident pray.” He said that the police received his “full effort” in the investigation. support”.
Live Nation said in a statement, “We are heartbroken for those who lost their lives and were affected on Astroworld last night. We will continue to work hard to provide them with as much information and help as possible while investigating the situation by local authorities. “
As the family gathered at a local hotel to reunite with the survivors, the organizers cancelled the next Saturday of the festival. Crowds of teenagers — many still wearing holiday wristbands and shirts — mill in the parking lot.
“During this period, I was really close to the front. We are all supporting each other,” said Christopher, 16, who was holding the Astroworld bag when he was standing with his father and his father asked not to use their surnames.
Wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey and holding up a pair of worn sneakers, he said he was stepped under his feet when the crowd flocked to him.
Denver entrepreneur Jesse Dahl took his 9-year-old son Christiano to a concert in Houston.
“There are many young children who don’t know how to deal with themselves,” he said. “You will meet teenagers who have no rules or boundaries and are wild all day long.”
Earlier, before the show started, the energy level of the festival was high.At 2 pm, a reporter from local TV station KTRK-TV witness People rushed into the gates of NRG Park.
The concert audience described events that were difficult to manage throughout the afternoon and evening.
Garcia said that when rapper Don Toliver performed in another fenced area, the crowd was equally excited and surging, and he had to seek the help of security guards. He said that a security guard carried him over the fence to a safe place.
Garcia said he saw people jumping over the fence to get tickets to the concert. “Some people are out of control:’I’m here to make trouble, I’m here to beat people,'” he said when describing other people’s behavior. “I don’t think it’s safe [at fault] Same as the people. “
In Scott’s performance, Garcia stood far away from the stage, and he felt the crowd began to pour in repeatedly.
Denver entrepreneur Dahl and his son were blocked from the crowd because they were sitting in the high VIP area, where they could see the crowd becoming unruly, “shaking” and moving forward. “It’s really magnified,” Dahl said.
Close to the stage, 20-year-old Vanessa Johnson, a business student at Edward Waters University, said: “It wasn’t until Travis came to power that things really went crazy.”
Johnson was with his 21-year-old friend Julian Ponce. Both said that shortly after Scott showed up, they heard people yelling: “Stop the show!”
“Someone passed out,” said Ponce, a psychology student at the University of Texas at San Antonio, turning around to see a circle of people behind him trying to help a man on the ground to stop the crowd.
“You keep going forward and backward–you can’t move,” Ponce said.
“Our whole process in the crowd was like life and death. I was bruised all over. People kicked and pushed each other,” said 26-year-old Rebecca Kallabat.
When the crowd pushed her, Karabat said that she thought: “If I fall, I will die.” She pointed to the bruise under her tailored denim shorts.
Another member of her, 32-year-old TJ Yalda, has participated in Scott’s shows many times, including Astroworld and likes mosh. He said he was not surprised by the rude crowd.
“This is normal behavior. There are too many children,” Yalda said. “It’s like playing with fire.” Yalda said. In one of the pits, a young man slapped him in the face and broke his lips.
Scott’s concerts are known for the loud energy and loud sports activities in front of the stage. A song by Scott, “Stargazing” in 2018, contains the lyrics “If it’s not hurt, it’s not a bastard.”
In a case related to the Lollapalooza stampede in 2015, Scott also admitted to allegations of reckless behavior, in which he also urged fans to take the stage. Cause 15-year-old girl to be trampled.
Scott did not tell the fans to go to the Houston stage, although the video showed some fans yelling to draw attention to him and the staff about the growing crisis in the crowd. At about 40 minutes, Scott paused the show again. “Wait, wait, wait, we need some help, someone passed out here. …Security, let’s go in.” After a moment, the performance restarted.
Video shows fans recite, “Stop the show! Stop the show!” between songs.
Music festivals like Astroworld have become the backbone of the concert industry, generating millions of dollars in revenue for headline artists and promoters. Astroworld is produced by ScoreMore Shows and Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest event promotion company.
In Las Vegas next weekend, the promoters Goldenvoice and AEG Presents plan to host a three-day hip-hop festival called Day N Vegas. During this period, Scott will work with Kendrick Lamar (Kendrick Lamar). ) Made headlines with creator Tyler. Scott will also be one of the headlines at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April.
Hennessy-Fiske reported from Houston, Kaleem from Los Angeles, and Pearce from Santa Cruz. Craig Marks of Los Angeles and Jenny Jarvie of Atlanta contributed to this report.