On Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, outside NRG Park, at least eight people, including one as young as 14, died, and multiple were injured after a large crowd began pushing toward the front of the stage, causing a surge.
The sold-out two-day music festival began on Friday, where about 50,000 people attended the event. At least 23 were transported to the hospital and 11 of those people are in cardiac arrest, one child who is ten years old is injured, and over 300 were treated throughout the day. In a New York Times article, The Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner stated, “This is a young crowd,” the people who died ranged from 14 to 27.
Houston city officials on Saturday released most of the ages of the eight people who were killed as a crowd surged at the Astroworld Festival, including one person who was 14. Another victim was 16; two were 21; two were 23; one was 27, and one person’s age is unknown, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Another 25 people were taken to the hospital after the concert, and 13 people were still hospitalized as of Saturday afternoon, including five people under the age of 18.
Also in the New York Times article, Chief Troy Finner of the Houston Police Department said many details about the disaster were still unclear, including what had caused the crowd to surge forward. “I’m sending investigators to the hospitals because we just don’t know,” Chief Finner said. “We’re going to do an investigation and find out, because it’s not fair to producers, to anybody else involved, until we determine what happened, what caused the surge.”
At a press conference following the concert, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña clarified the timeline. According to a Variety article, he said that at 9 p.m. the crowd began surging forward during Scott’s set as there was panic and people running for safety. At that point, Scott paused the show several times to ask security to help out fans, and members of the fire department were sent into the dense crowd to rescue the injured.
The case is now under investigation. Houston police said their investigation into the surge would include looking into reports that somebody in the audience had been injecting people with drugs.
Concertgoers described the event as hectic. People were struggling to stand straight, there was a mob mentality, and fights broke out throughout the day. One concertgoer tweeted a video of his experience:
Scott launched the Astroworld Festival in 2018. Like most other large events, it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event’s 100,000 tickets sold out within an hour of going on sale back in May. Scott issued a statement on social media after this tragic event:
And as for day 2 of the Astroworld Festival, it was canceled and a statement was also released:
Scott’s partner Kylie Jenner attended the concert with their three-year-old daughter Stormi Webster and sister Kendall Jenner. All three, who are typically accompanied by bodyguards, were unhurt. Kylie wrote a statement on her Instagram story on Nov. 6:
“Travis and I are broken and devastated,my thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their lives, were injured or affected in any way by yesterday’s events. And also for Travis who I know cares deeply for his fans and the Houston community, I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing. I am sending my deepest condolences to all the families during this difficult time and will be praying for the healing of everyone who has been impacted.”