Astroworld Tragedy

Anna Maansson, News Writer

On November 5, during the Astroworld music festival, 10 people died and hundreds of others were injured in a deadly crowd crush during the event. Among the deceased were two high school students and a nine year-old.

Around midday on the fifth, there were thousands of people who stormed the gates at Astroworld.

People were so close together that they were having trouble breathing and people were not able to escape the surging crowd. 

Noah Diaz, a 22-year old who attended the festival, described the crowd surges to the Washington Post as, “It was almost like you were in a wave pool … [but] drowning in human bodies.”

“At one point there was an ambulance that was trying to make its way through the crowd. The artist has command of that crowd,” Samuel Peña, the Houston Fire Department chief, told NBC. “The artist, if he notices something that’s going on, he can certainly pause that performance.”

Madeline Eskins, an ICU nurse, initially passed out due to the crowd surge. To get her to help, she was crowd-surfed to security. She came to with no recollection of events. When she saw the other injured people, she started checking people’s pulses and helping them move to stretchers, since there was a lack of medical staff.

Many emergency vehicles went through the crowd of the festival during Scott’s performance to help injured people. Some people were seen to have climbed onto emergency vehicles while they were trying to get through the crowd.

The field hospital at NRG Park, located near where the festival was held, treated over 300 people for injuries throughout the day.

Scott continued performing 30 minutes after Astroworld was declared a mass casualty event.

This is not Scott’s first incident. He has been arrested before for reckless conduct charges in 2015 and in 2017 he was arrested for telling fans to bypass the security at an event in Arkansas and to rush the stage. It is not uncommon for injuries to occur at his shows. At Astroworld in 2019, there were also injuries due to wild fan behavior that has come to be expected at his shows.

Astroworld is not alone in having people die at a festival. At the original Woodstock festival in 1969 and Woodstock 1999, multiple people lost their lives, and in 1999 there were also reports of sexual assault.

On November 6, Scott posted an apology tweet saying, “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.”

“I saw Travis Scott’s instagram story and where he posted an apology,” said Lauren Toner ’25.  “It could have been sincere from his part but it is now a huge joke. It is all over the Internet and people are making fun of it because it looks so scripted. Almost like he was being forced to write an apology.”

Over 125 people who were caught in the deadly crowd surge are suing Scott and other event organisers for $750 million. There have also been lawsuits filed against other parties associated with Astroworld.

When asked about attending concerts in the future, Toner replied, “It makes me a little uncomfortable [to know] if it’s going to happen to a kid who’s younger than me. That’s concerning.”