by Prisha Satish ’24
Published Dec. 1st, 2021
On November 5th, Travis Scott debuted the 2021 Astroworld Festival, an annual three-day long live concert with some of the world’s most popular artists. After canceling the 2020 event due to concerns over COVID-19, Scott expected his latest project to be a success.
But it was the complete opposite. At least 10 were reported dead and hundreds more left injured after an unexpected crowd surge.
About 50,000 people attended the sold-out Astroworld Festival at NRG Park in Houston, Texas. The crowd rush started just after 9:15 PM and ended at 10:15 PM when Scott’s performance ended. Concert attendee Alexis Guavin reported that “once (Scott) started, all hell broke loose, all of what is to be about 50,000 people ran to the front, compressing everyone together with the little air available.”
As the crowd surged towards the stage, attendees as young as nine years old were crushed underfoot. Survivors saw people having trouble breathing, passing out, and collapsing on top of each other.
Signs of potential crowd control issues were apparent when attendees hopped the arena fences to enter the sold-out festival without tickets, leading to a crowd size that organizers were unprepared for. Dozens of injured festival goers have now filed lawsuits against Travis Scott and Live Nation, the organizers of the festival.
Travis Scott took to Twitter after the event and posted an apology video for the tragedy. It received massive criticism for the unapologetic tone and perceived fakeness.
Joey Guerra, a music critic in attendance, told BBC Radio 5 that Travis Scott stopped the show several times to point out people near the front who were in distress. He believes that Travis Scott was not fully aware of the extent of the crowd storm.
The youngest victim has been identified as nine-year-old Ezra Blount. Blount was on life support for the week following the concert, but tragically passed away on November 14th after entering a medically-induced coma.
Investigators are looking into what caused the crowd surge and what prevented people from escaping the concert. Scott has continued to receive pushback online and now faces a massive lawsuit over the events of the concert.