Everything To Know About Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival

Robyn Mowatt Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she…
Astroworld Festival 2021
Photo Credit: Rick Kern for Getty Images

Police are currently investigating Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival. A deadly crowd surge took place at the event which was attended by 50,000 people.

On Friday evening, Travis Scott‘s Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas left eight people dead. Hosted at NRG Park, the event was attended by 50,000 people.

Authorities said during a crowd surge at the event which took place during Scott’s performance, fans were trampled, crushed, and gasping for air. Some individuals screamed at the top of their lungs for help, but this was to no avail as they say the music was entirely too loud for them to be heard.

Despite the concert ending early, it continued for 40 minutes after reports of attendees being harmed reached first responders. Day two was also canceled after Travis Scott’s set ended early around 10 p.m.

Below we’re sharing everything to know about Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival.

What caused the crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival?

Police are currently investigating the cause of the deadly crowd surge at Astroworld Festival that left eight dead and countless others injured. Before the show fans began rushing through a VIP entrance, a video from a CNN affiliate KPRC shows people knocking over metal detectors and others ignoring security staff. 

Madeline Eskins, an ICU nurse attending the show said a countdown timer began around 30 minutes before Travis Scott’s set. She added people began compressing up against one another and were pushing forward. Concertgoers who were attempting to press forward towards the stage crushed many and left others trampled. Per CNN, “the show continued another 40 minutes after initial reports of spectators being harmed reached first responders.”

All victims have been identified.

Ten victims who lost their lives at Astrowold Festival have been identified.

Ezra Blount, the 9-year-old who was trampled and separated from his father during the festival was pronounced dead on November 15. Per a previous Rolling Stone report, Blount was fighting for his life at a children’s hospital after sustaining injuries at Astroworld. Last week he was placed in a medically-induced coma to combat brain swelling.

On Thursday, November 11, Bharti Shanani, a 22-year-old Texas A&M student who sustained injuries at Astroworld was pronounced dead according to her family’s lawyer. She was previously in critical condition and on a ventilator.

The ten victims who were pronounced dead include:

Mirza Baig, 27, Houston

Rodolfo Peña, 23, Laredo

Madison Dubiski, 23, Cypress

Franco Patiño, 21, Illinois

Jacob Jurinke, 20, Illinois

John Hilgert, 14, Houston

Axel Acosta Avila, 21, Washington

Brianna Rodriguez, 16, Houston

Bharti Shanami, 22

Ezra Blount, 9

Was Travis Scott warned about the energy of the crowd before his set at 9 pm?

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner visited Scott prior to his set to share “concerns about the energy in the crowd.” A New York Times report cites a source familiar with the chief’s account. 

What happened when Travis Scott began his set?

Once he began his set fans began surging forward. One concertgoer TK Tellez said: “The crowd became tighter and tighter, and at that point, it was hard to breathe. When Travis came out performing his first song, I witnessed people passing out next to me.” 

A festival attendee Sarai Sierra says she saw multiple people who couldn’t breathe after Travis began performing. Others said they attempted to scream for help but they were drowned out by the music.

At 9:30 officials first received reports of people falling injured within the crowd. At this point “additional resources” were requested at the scene, said Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña. By 9:38 pm a “mass casualty” event had been declared. Around 10 p.m. Scott ended his set.

What is the latest from the Houston Police Department?

At the moment, a criminal investigation is underway. The Houston Police Department’s homicide division is looking for answers surrounding the deaths of the eight concertgoers in addition to the others who were injured. The Washington Post reports Jodi Silva, a spokeswoman for the Houston Police Department said: “everybody who needs to be involved will be involved.”

On Tuesday, Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Peña said Scott “absolutely” should have ended his set at Astroworld. During an interview on Tuesday’s edition of Today he also added:

“It seems as though the crowd began try to push toward the front to get as close to the stage as they could when Mr. Scott’s set began.” He went on to add, “What was happening is the barricades that were placed to prevent that surge toward the stage in essence caused other areas of pinch points. As the crowd began to surge and push and compress toward the front, it was those people in the center that began to get crushed.”

Have concertgoers begun suing Travis Scott?

Thomas J. Henry, a Texas trial attorney announced he’d filed a $2.5 billion lawsuit on behalf of 282 victims of Astroworld on November 18. The suit names the following defendants: Apple Music, Drake, Travis Scott, and NRG Stadium. An additional 120 victims have reached out to the firm in an attempt to seek representation.

“The defendants stood to make an exorbitant amount of money off of this event, and they still chose to cut corners, cut costs, and put attendees at risk,” said Thomas J. Henry per a press release. “My clients want to ensure the defendants are held responsible for their actions, and they want to send the message to all performers, event organizers, and promoters that what happened at Astroworld cannot happen again.”

On November 16 a lawsuit seeking $750 million was filed on behalf of 125 Astroworld victims, Axel Acosta who was killed at the show is included in the suit.

Buzbee Law Firm filed the suit lists Drake, Apple Music, who produced a live stream of the festival and Live Nation as defendants. Per NBC, the suit accuses Scott of “keeping the concert going even after authorities had announced a mass casualty event.” Additionally, the suit states:

“The victims on that night went to Astroworld for fun. Neither they nor their families were ever warned that they were walking into an extremely dangerous situation.”

Kristian Paredes, a 23-year-old concertgoer has accused Scott and Drake of inciting a “riot and violence.” This victim is seeking $1 million in damages and is claiming Live Nation Entertainment and the venue did not provide adequate medical care or security. He suffered from “severe bodily injuries.”

Manuel Souza, another attendee, is suing Scott, Live Nation Entertainment,  and concert promoter Scoremore for $1 million in damages. He alleges he suffered “serious bodily injuries when the uncontrolled crowd at the concert knocked him to the ground and trampled him.”

On November 12, civil rights attorney Ben Crump announced he planned to file lawsuits for over 100 Astroworld victims. He is representing Ezra Blount, the 9-year-old child who was pronounced dead earlier this week. 

Have fans been refunded?

Scott has announced that he will be providing full refunds for all Astroworld Festival attendees.

What is Travis Scott saying about Astroworld Festival?

Scott released a statement on Twitter on Saturday stating that the Houston Police Department has his total support as they “look into the tragic loss of life.” He also stated, “I am 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.”

In a follow-up video posted on his Instagram, he said he was working to identify the families of the victims. In addition to this, he shared: “You know my fans really mean the world to me man and I always just really want to leave them with a positive experience.”

On Wednesday night, Scott’s lawyer Edwin F. McPherson released the following statement:

“There has been multiple finger-pointing, much of which has been by city officials, who have sent inconsistent messages and have backtracked from original statements.”

He went on to touch on Houston Chief of Police Troy Finner’s New York Times interview in which he said the police department did not shut down the festival out of concern fans might riot. “Yet, just a short time later, Chief Finner states the responsibility to stop the show falls on Travis,” McPherson said per Billboard — rather than the Houston Police Department.

He also said, “It was reported that the Operations Plan designated that only the festival director and executive producers have authority to stop the show, neither of which is part of Travis’s crew. This also runs afoul of HPD’s own previous actions when it shut down the power and sound at this very festival when the performance ran over 5 minutes back in 2019.”

McPherson noted: “Investigations should start proceeding over finger-pointing,” he said in addition to, “so that together, we can identify exactly what transpired and how we can prevent anything like this from happening again.”

Has Drake released a statement following the deaths?

On Monday night Drake broke his silence and released a statement via his Instagram. It read: “I’ve spent the past few days trying to wrap my mind around this devastating tragedy. I hate resorting to this platform to express an emotion as delicate as grief but this is where I find myself.”

He also wrote, “My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering. I will continue to pray for all of them, and will be of service in any way I can. May God be with you all.”

 

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