A&E News: Tragedy at Astroworld

The Nov. 5 tragedy at Astroworld has resulted in several lawsuits against Houston rapper Travis Scott.

Last weekend on Nov. 5, at least nine people were killed and over 300 were injured in a crowd of 50,000 during Houston rapper Travis Scott’s annual Astroworld festival, according to the Houston Police department. The nine victims who passed away include 14-year-old John Hilgert, 27-year-old Danish Baig, 16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez, 21-year-old Franco Patiño, 23-year-old Rodolfo Peña, 20-year-old Jacob E. Jurinek, 21-year-old Axel Acosta, 23-year-old Madison Dubiski, and, most recently, 22-year-old Bharti Shahani who passed away after being hospitalized for nearly a week following the events.

The tragedy caused the remainder of the festival to be shut down, and multiple lawsuits were also filed against Scott and surprise performer Drake citing “gross negligence.”

The event occurred late during Scott’s set as fans suddenly surged forward during the performance in an effort to get closer to the stage. This caused fans to squeeze tightly together, effectively crushing each other in the process.

“I passed out because people were pushing up against me so much that I couldn’t breathe,” said one festival-goer on Instagram.

Other videos depict fans chanting for Scott to “stop the show” and trying to get the attention of the camera crew filming the event. Despite the immense amount of panic in the crowd, pleas and cries for help were mostly ignored, and the show continued with only a few stops until Live Nation shut it down approximately 30 minutes early. This was 40 minutes after the Houston Fire Department had already declared the show as a mass casualty event.

Many fans noted the lack of support from security despite there being 367 police officers and 241 security officers on duty. Even before the concert began, ABC13 captured a video of thousands of fans stampeding past the initial VIP security checkpoint, trampling each other in the mayhem.

Following the event, the official Astroworld Festival Instagram account gave its own official response along with Scott on Twitter. No direct apology has been made by any party, likely to avoid implicating themselves. Several other artists — such as Drake — that were involved with the festival have also given their own responses.

Travis Scott is confirmed to be giving a full refund to all Astroworld attendees and has subsequently canceled his Day N Vegas festival appearance. Additionally, Scott also promised to cover funeral costs for the victims who lost their lives at Astroworld and announced a partnership with BetterHelp, a therapy service with a questionable reputation, to offer a free month of online therapy.

In light of these events, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has also announced the formation of a new task force focused on concert safety.

Image courtesy of NME.