8 Dead, Hundreds Injured In Crowd Surge At Travis Scott’s Astroworld Fest
The first night of Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival descended into chaos Friday at Houston’s NRG Park, with at least eight people dead and hundreds treated for injuries, KHOU, Reuters, and the Associated Press report.
The surge began around 9:15PM during Scott’s headlining performance, which was livestreamed at Apple Music and featured a guest appearance by Drake. “The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” Fire Chief Samuel Peña told reporters at a news conference. “People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic.” Peña said by 9:38 the incident escalated into a “mass casualty event,” noting that the medical units on hand were “quickly overwhelmed” and that “scores of people” were treated for injuries. He said officials transported at least 17 people to local hospitals, including 11 who were in cardiac arrest. A 10-year-old was among those hospitalized, and a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old died. More than 300 people were treated on-site at NRG Park.
Astroworld was sold out, with an estimated 50,000 people on-hand. The second and final night of the festival has been cancelled. The fest’s official social channels posted the following message this morning:
Our hearts are with the Astroworld family tonight — especially those we lost and their loved ones.
We are focused on supporting local officials however we can. With that in mind the festival will no longer be held on Saturday.
As authorities mentioned at their press conference earlier, they are looking into the series of cardiac arrests that took place. If you have any relevant information on this, please reach out to @HoustonPolice.
Thank you to our partners at the Houston Police Department, Fire Department, and NRG Park for their response and support.
This is not the first time one of Scott’s performances has resulted in chaos and injury. In 2015, he was arrested five minutes into his set at Lollapalooza in Chicago for inciting a riot after encouraging the crowd to climb over the security barrier, which led to a 15-year-old girl getting trampled; he later pled guilty to charges of reckless conduct. In 2017, Scott encouraged people at his concert at Terminal 5 in New York City to jump from the balcony, which led to a lawsuit against Scott by a man who fell from the balcony and was paralyzed.
Today, Scott shared the following statement on Twitter:
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.
Houston PD has my total suppor tas they continue to look into the tragic loss of life.
I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support.
Love You All.
Police are investigating rumors that some of the cardiac arrests were caused by someone injecting people at the concert with drugs. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner confirmed that a security guard working the event lost consciousness after feeling a prick on his neck. “When he was examined, he went unconscious,” Finner said. “They administered Narcan. He was revived, and the medical staff did notice a prick that was similar to a prick that you would get if someone was trying to inject.”
UPDATE (11/7): Travis Scott and Astroworld organizers Live Nation have had their first lawsuit filed against them, as Billboard reports. An attendee named Manuel Souza who was injured at the festival had an attorney file the suit on Saturday in Harris County District Court. “Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner,” the attorney said. “Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors.”