HOUSTON – What was supposed to be a night of entertainment turned into tragedy Friday after at least eight people died and hundreds were injured at Travis Scott’s highly-anticipated Astroworld Festival.
There have been countless examples in the past of crowd surges at various concerts, so what went wrong?
Earlier in the day, at least three people were injured when crowds stormed past the security gates to get into the planned two-day festival. Later that night, tragedy unfolded when many in the crowd became aggressive and began to push toward the stage. Day two of the festival has been canceled.
Two concertgoers who were directly in front of the concert stage explained to KPRC 2 Investigates’ Mario Diaz what it was like from inside.
“People were in panic. It was just like some people were trying to get in, people trying to get out,” said A.J. Warner.
Warner was in the very first row. He described in detail what his experience was like.
“Imagine this with like 10 other people. So while this was going on, everyone’s momentum was going this way or this way,” Warner said as he illustrated the pushing within the crowd. “So if you fall, you have a split second to get up. If you don’t get up, your chance of getting stomped on is very high.”
Another concertgoer with premium access, Jesse Ramos, attended the show with his family. He, too, could feel the pressure mounting in front of the stage.
“Everybody was just surging. People were pushing up on each other,” Ramos described.
Ramos and his family acknowledged that Scott referenced paramedics in the crowd, however, they all thought it was part of the act.
“I was like ‘there is an ambulance going right through the middle’ and I turned to my girlfriend and I said ‘I think this is part of the show to make it seem like it was so crazy,’” said Ramos’ mother’s boyfriend. “But now, low and behold, it turns out the next morning we find out that was not part of the show. That was real!”
Unfortunately, it was real, and tragic. Several people were rushed to the hospital with “crush injuries,” cardiac arrests and other issues.
While the investigation is ongoing, many want to know how this happened and what could have been done to prevent it. Was there enough security? And if not, who was responsible for ensuring there was?
NRG Park released a statement, that read, “We are deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss of life and pain experienced by all those impacted by this tragedy. We are fully cooperating and working closely with police and local authorities as they investigate how this tragedy occurred at the Astroworld Festival.”