Marcus Grant | Managing Editor
A music festival hosted by rapper Travis Scott took a tragic turn after 8 people died, and more than 300 were injured. The majority of the injuries and fatalities were caused by “crowd crush”. Astroworld was scheduled to take place from November 5th to November 6th and featured artists such as Sza, Tame Impala, 21 Savage, and others. An estimated 50,000 people attended the concert.
According to KHOU, a Houston local news station, eight people have been confirmed dead but only seven have been identified. John Hilgert was a ninth grade student at Memorial High School in Houston. The school sent out a newsletter stating their condolences and letting families know that counselors would be available at the school to help anyone who needs it. Another victim was 16-year-old, Brianna Rodriguez. Her school, Heights High School, will have counselors available for students and staff. There is currently a GoFundMe page made by her family to help cover funeral costs. A 21-year-old University of Daton student, Franco Patiño, was confirmed to be one of the victims by the administration. The fourth victim, 21-year-old Axel Acosta, was identified by his father after being recovered from Memorial Hermann Hospital. Another victim was identified as Danish Baig. His brother said that Baig was killed while trying to save his fiance. Jacob E. Jurinek, a junior at Southern Illinois University was identified by his family. The last known victim was 23-year-old Rudy Peña. His family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses.
In addition to those who lost their lives, the Houston Police Chief stated that 11 people were taken to the hospital with cardiac arrest. From the video footage that has been circulating, it is clear to see the sheer amount of chaos that took place. Footage showed concertgoers pleading for help, getting trampled on, and even receiving CPR on the floor of the festival. There are accounts of people being packed together so tightly that they physically could not breathe.
The question on everyone’s mind is: What did Travis Scott do while this was going on? The answer is sad, nothing. Even after spotting an ambulance that was struggling to get through the dense crowd to save unconscious people, Scott sent two of his entourage members to crowd surf. People could also be heard yelling from the crowd that they needed help plea’s that Scott did not respond to and instead chose to keep performing.
Videos obtained by the Washington Post show people going up to the staff and telling them that people were dying only for them to be brushed off. According to the Houston Chronicle, a “mass casualty” event was declared at 9:38 pm, just 32 minutes after Scott’s performance began. Although promoters of the show agreed to cut the concert short soon after they were notified, Scott performed his full setlist, ending at the scheduled time of 10:15 pm.
Billboard reported that Travis Scott, ScoreMore, and Live Nation are being sued by an injured attendee, and more lawsuits are expected to be filed. Manual Souza filed a complaint to the Harris County District Court. The parties are accused of negligence and gross negligence asking for $1 million. Filed on November 6th by Manuel Souza in the Harris County District Court, the incident is being referred to as preventable. Souza points out the warning of people breaching “a security gate around the park, stampeded into the premises, and trampled over one another.” On November 7th, an additional lawsuit was filed on behalf of one of the victims by Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry.
What happened at Astroworld has been deemed unacceptable by the majority of those familiar with the entertainment industry. The friends and families of concertgoers should not have to worry about whether their loved one will be killed during a performance. Everyone involved in the event needs to be held accountable for the tragedy. So far, Travis Scott has committed to paying for the victim’s funeral costs, providing full refunds for all who attended and has canceled his appearance at a Los Vegas festival this weekend.