On Friday, Nov. 5, officials pronounced eight dead after a deadly crowd surge at rap artist Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston.
As the concert began, 50,000 attendees — all gathered at the sold-out NRG Park — rushed toward the front of the stage as the timer counted down to the start of the performance. This left little air space and compressed attendees. As Scott began his show, many fell to the floor and fell victim to the swarm rushing forward.
In a news conference, Houston’s mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed that victims include: 14-year-old John Hilgert, 16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez, 20-year-old Jacob Jurinek, 21-year-old Franco Patino, 27-year-old Danish Baig and others, some of whose statuses remain unknown.
A field hospital near the arena treated more than 300 people, while medics transported 25 patients to a local hospital for urgent care. Five of the transported patients were under the age of 18 and 13 remain in the hospital as of Nov. 6. The youngest injured, a 10-year-old, remains in critical condition.
This is not irregular conduct for crowd interaction at Scott’s concerts, as the artist frequently encourages audience members to crowd surf, stage dive and other behaviors. However, this time, the chaos ended in pleas for help instead of cheers from the crowd.
Since the concert, Kherkher Garcia, LLP has filed the first lawsuit, representing an attendee who suffered serious injuries after getting trampled in the middle of a stampede. The lawsuit specifically calls upon the arena, Scott and his security staff for neglect. The suit sues for at least one million dollars in damages.
After fans demanded a statement from Scott, the artist posted a series of Instagram stories where he apologized to his fans, the victims and their families. He also released a Twitter post Saturday night, sharing his devastation about the incident at the previous night’s show.