Astroworld Festival Tragedy

Tragically, 9 people were killed and hundreds injured as a result of a densely packed crowd that surged toward a stage and crushed against each other at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival on Friday, November 5, 2021. About 50,000 people were at the sold-out the festival at NRG Park. The worst of the incident began around 9:15 p.m. when the crowd of approximately 50,000 concert-goers began to move toward the front of the stage, according to Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña. “The crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage, and people began to panic,” Peña said.

 

In addition to poor crowd management and safety, a reddit user that witnessed the incident and subsequent aftermath happened posted about inadequately trained medical staff not timely responding to injured attendees, failing to administer aid, and failing to retrieve an injured attendee that been pulseless for fifteen minutes before festival staff arrived with a stretcher. The reddit user, maxomo 32, criticized the medical staff in detail, ending the post with the following statement: “I watched a girl die in front of me all because these ‘medics’ were so ill prepared. I’d encourage anyone here to open lawsuits against this Cactus Jack/ astroworld bull****. So sad.”

 

The organizers, rapper Travis Scott and LiveNation, stopped the show when it was apparent that multiple people were hurt, according to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. While the most deadly moments happened after 9:15 p.m., Peña said more than 300 patients total had been treated at a field hospital since the event began, including people who were hurt during the worst moments. While names and ages of the casualties weren’t known, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said one of the victims was 10-years-old.

 

While the investigation into the Astroworld festival tragedy is ongoing, eyewitness accounts have raised serious concerns that this incident was not only preventable, but that it was also foreseeable.  If you or a loved has suffered injuries at the Astroworld festival, I encourage you to contact a personal injury attorney to learn about your legal rights. I have previously worked on mass casualty events at concert festivals, including the Las Vegas shooting that occurred at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in 2017. My firm is experienced, aggressive, and available 24/7 to offer a free consultation for victims of the Astroworld festival tragedy.

 

Contact 713-609-1898 to speak with an attorney. 

***  UPDATE ***

As the investigation continues and more news reports come out from Astroworld festival attendees, a much bleaker picture of this mass casualty incident is beginning to appear, especially concerning the failure to take action by the festival promoters, organizers, and mainlining act, Travis Scott.

 

Witnesses have recounted the panicked crush at the concert that led to eight deaths and dozens transported to area hospitals. Some reported being trapped in the crowds, unable to move or leave the concert. Others saw emergency personnel working to revive prone bodies, only to be trampled themselves by concertgoers. What witnesses have described details a complete breakdown in security, crowd management, and emergency response.

 

Many have been surprised by the lack of security given Scott’s history for putting on high-energy concerts that often involve him inciting the crowd to not only push the limits of security, but often completely disregard security in order to get as close to the stage as possible. One witness remarked: “His shows are like this. Why didn’t they know? They should’ve been better prepared.” Moreover, it has been alleged that Scott was requested to stop the concert early due to local police reporting a mass casualty event at the concert, yet Scott continued to play his entire setlist anyway.

 

As of November 6, 25 people were reported to have been transported to hospitals and 13 remained hospitalized. A 10-year-old was in critical condition, officials said. More than 300 injuries were treated onsite. The victims range from 14-27 years old, including two local high schoolers. As a father and local Houstonian, I am deeply saddened by this tragic event and express my condolences to the families that lost children and loved ones as a result of this incident. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of the Astroworld festival tragedy, contact our firm now to learn your legal rights:

 

Contact 713-609-1898 to speak with an attorney. 

*** UPDATE ***

As of November 9, Travis Scott has offered to pay for the funeral costs of the victims. Scott also announced he is partnering with BetterHelp, an online counseling service, to provide one month of free therapy for those affected. Further, Scott is aligning with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America National, and Mental Health America of Greater Houston to direct all those in need to proper mental health services.

 

While Scott’s actions to address the harm suffered are a small step in the right direction, nothing can reverse or excuse the effects of the carelessness leading to this tragedy in the first place. According to news reports, Scott continued his performance for nearly 40 minutes after authorities declared Astroworld a mass-casualty event. To be clear, the festival’s failures led to devastation amounting to a mass-casualty declaration, but instead of stopping the show as of that declaration, Travis Scott continued to perform for 40 more minutes.

 

In eyewitness videos widely circulating social media, lifeless bodies are seen being carried over the heads of concert-goers as Travis Scott, perched on a tall stand in the middle of the crowd, fully able to see the chaos unfolding around him, continues to sing.

 

In a now-deleted Instagram post, Scott’s partner Kylie Jenner filmed the crowd as an ambulance attempted to cut through. Instead of stopping the performance to allow emergency services to attempt rescue, Scott continued performing as Jenner filmed. Other videos show the crowd desperately chanting “stop the show.” But Scott did not stop the show until 8 people, including two young teenagers, tragically perished. Scott did not stop the show until after he completed his set and hundreds had been injured, including 8 fatalities.

 

Scott has a history of continuing to perform during unsafe chaos, but he also has a history of creating that chaos in the first place. “There are more of you than them,” he told a crowd at 2015’s Summer Jam concert in East Rutherford, N.J., encouraging the concert-goers to overwhelm security. Chicago police arrested him that same summer after he urged fans to climb over barricades at Lollapalooza.

 

At Astroworld Festival in 2019, three people were hospitalized with crush injuries. Reportedly, Houston police wrote on Twitter that the 2019 festival didn’t have enough staff, and that “promoters did not plan sufficiently for the large crowds.” That tweet has now been deleted. But there were other warnings before the tragedy in 2021. At 2 p.m. on Nov. 5, fans stampeded through a V.I.P. security entrance at Astroworld, knocking over metal detectors. “It suggests they weren’t prepared for the kind of crowd they were going to get,” said an anonymous concert insurance expert to the Houston Chronicle. The expert remained anonymous because of his connections to the organizers.

 

Further, on the night of Oct. 24, less than two weeks before Astroworld, young fans of artist Playboi Carti also reportedly knocked over metal detectors and moved metal barriers at NRG, the very same venue as Astroworld. Organizers cancelled that concert due to the chaos. Paul Wertheimer, a concert-safety expert, told the Houston Chronicle: “It was obvious to everybody that the crowds were going to be difficult, because everybody has been so cooped up. And young people want to get on with their lives and have fun and have some camaraderie. Everybody knew that. But the industry didn’t prepare for it.” Additional accusations allege that Astroworld organizers lowered ticket prices and increased capacity to keep profits up, rather than lowering capacity and increasing ticket prices.

 

Regardless, several young people are no longer able to go on with their lives, and countless other lives have changed forever. The physical and psychological fallout of this tragedy are unimaginable. If you or a loved one need an experienced attorney to help you navigate this trying time, that help is available now. We encourage all affected by this tragedy to seek legal advice.

 

Contact 713-609-1898 to speak with an attorney. 

 

Finally,  many attendees have reported suffering mental trauma from their experience. If you are struggling from the emotional stress of what you witnessed at the concert and need immediate help, I encourage you to contact the Crisis Intervention of Houston immediately:

 

CRISIS HOTLINE: 832.416.1177   |   TEEN: 832.416.1199 (CALL)  |  TEEN: 281.201.4430 (TEXT)