HOUSTON – KPRC 2 is working to share the stories of people who were at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival on the day eight concertgoers tragically died within the crowd.
Darius Williams said he applied online for a staff position at the festival just days before the event.
Williams said he then got an email for what he said was a mass interview, where he was never asked to disclose any of his qualifications.
“My background is in hospitality and retail,” said Williams. “I don’t have any background in security. Basically, if you can pass the background check, then you’re hired. Essentially, it didn’t seem to be much interest in what we did prior or if we had security in our background.”
The company, Contemporary Services Corporation, did run background checks, swiped fingerprints, and gave a licensing exam, but no mention of crowds or even Astroworld specifically.
“The training class seemed so rushed. It was a free for all,” he said. “Find the answers so we can go home. One of the first red flags I picked up [was that] there was nothing event-specific. There wasn’t anything geared towards working a music festival or any large-scale gathering.”
He showed up for work at NRG Park Friday at 7 a.m. and was asked to man one of the gates.
“I mentioned how I didn’t feel safe working because I was sure the gates were going to get stormed and the barricades were going to get broken,” he shared.
Those barricades were indeed stormed by anxious concertgoers. Fortunately, Williams had already decided to leave.
He believes workers and security personnel who stayed behind could not have possibly been prepared for the horrific events that would unfold that evening.
“It’s unbelievable what happened, and also, to the staff and everyone that tried, I’m sure they were overwhelmed and didn’t have the proper training,” said Williams. “I just didn’t feel like I was safe or prepared for anything that would have happened.”
KPRC 2 reached out to Contemporary Services Corporation to learn more about their hiring practices for large-scale events like Astroworld Festival. A representative referred reporters to their legal department. KPRC 2 has yet to hear back.