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Astroworld and Concert Safety

Old 11-08-21, 03:27 PM
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Astroworld and Concert Safety

Thought this was an important story and one that can spark a discussion on general overall concert safety.

At least 8 dead and many injured after crowd surge at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival in Houston, officials say

By Jason Hanna, Maya Brown and Rosa Flores, CNN



Updated 9:38 PM ET, Sun November 7, 2021


Houston (CNN)Members of a densely packed crowd surged toward a stage and were crushed against each other at a Houston music festival Friday night. At least eight people were killed and scores of others were injured in the chaos, witnesses and officials said.

The victims were 14, 16, two were 21, two were 23 and one was 27 years old, while one of the victim's ages remains unknown, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced in a news conference Saturday evening. There are no people reported missing, the mayor added.
At least 25 people were transported to the hospital and of those, 13 remained hospitalized Saturday afternoon, the mayor said. Five of them are under 18 years old, he added."There are a lot of unanswered questions," Turner said. "Over the next several days, several weeks, could be even longer, we'll take an in-depth look at everything that took place, why it took place, what steps we can do moving forward to mitigate an incident of this kind from taking place."
About 50,000 people were at the sold-out Astroworld Festival at NRG Park -- the stadium complex where the Astrodome and the NRG Stadium stand -- when the incident began just after 9 p.m. CT, officials said.Video from the event showed the performer on an outdoor stage -- rapper and event organizer Travis Scott -- pause and look on in confusion as an ambulance with flashing lights moved into the densely packed crowd.

Once (Scott) started, all hell broke loose," concert-goer Alexis Guavin, 23, told CNN. "All of what is to be 50,000 people ran to the front, compressing everyone together with the little air available."
Guavin added there were "mosh pits in every single direction."
The company responsible for organizing the event, Live Nation, issued a statement saying they were "heartbroken for those lost and impacted."
"We will continue working to provide as much information and assistance as possible to the local authorities as they investigate the situation," the statement said.

'I realized that people were dying'


People there described being increasingly squeezedin the minutes before Scott's performance began, and then feeling crushed and seeing others pass out and scream in terror once his show started.
"The crowd was squishing me so much that I felt like I couldn't breathe," Emily Munguia, 22, told CNN. "I started screaming for help ... I felt so scared, like I was going to die."
"The amount of people I saw get hurt, passed out, bleeding, crying is crazy," Munguia said.
When Scott came onstage, "everything started to happen," audience member Anita Amper said.
"People just went berserk. I realized that people were dying," Amper, 22, told CNN.
The crowd "for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed," Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña told CNN Saturday morning.
"People began to fall out, become unconscious," Peña said at a news conference.


Travis Scott pauses Astroworld performance after seeing ambulance in crowd 00:59
Another woman in the crowd, Madeline Eskins, ultimately passed out and was apparently crowd-surfed to safety, she
.
As a timer on a screen counted down 30 minutes to Scott's performance, "people compressed up against each other and were pushing forward and backward," and it got progressively worse, Eskins told CNN Saturday.
"I was having constant pressure on my chest, constant pressure on my back. From the side, I was being squeezed," she said.
"Right when he started performing his first song, I looked at my boyfriend and said, 'We have to get out of here.' He said, 'I can't -- we can't,'" Eskins recalled.
"And I just remember looking up and passing out," and then going in and out of consciousness, she said. She remembers being pulled over a fence, and ultimately waking up for good in a chair, she said.
The deadly surge came hours after at least one person was injured when people rushed through a VIP entrance to the event in the afternoon.
And it came two years after three people were trampled and injured at the same festival as many rushed to enter in 2019.
Friday's horror brought an early end to what was supposed to be a two-day event, as Saturday's portion was canceled. Astroworld was in its third iteration, having been launched by native Houstonian Scott in 2018 at the park, which used to be the site of the SIx Flags Astroworld.

More than 300 people treated at field hospital


More than 300 people were treated at a field hospital set up near the festival Friday, Peña said.
One of the patients hospitalized is 10 years old, and at last check was in critical condition, Peña told CNN Saturday morning.

Some of the patients were in cardiac arrest as they were taken to hospitals, Peña said. Further details about the injuries weren't immediately available. The causes of death will be determined by a medical examiner, he said.
The cause of the surge was not immediately clear and will be part of an investigation, Peña said.
There were several incidents Friday where Narcan, a drug used to treat narcotic overdoses, was administered, Peña said during Saturday evening's news conference.
In a statement on
Saturday morning, festival organizers said "our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight -- especially those we lost and their loved ones," and they "are focused on supporting local officials however we can."
Scott separately said he is "absolutely devastated by what took place last night" in a
.
"My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival," Scott's statement reads.
"Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life," it continues. "I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support."

Crowd members attempt CPR on the injured


People who attended Friday's concert shared on social media the chaos that ensued after the deadly nighttime surge. Medical personnel were so overwhelmed with the injuries some audience members attempted to administer CPR.
Amper, one of the crowd members, said she saw a "girl lying on the floor near me, and we had random people doing CPR on this girl."
More than 20 minutes passed, she said, before "actual medical assistants came."
Houston police and event security staff stopped the concert "as soon as the situation got to the point where it was overwhelming the resources there," but by then "the damage had been done," Peña, the fire chief, said.
Scott stopped the show at least three times to ask for help for stricken concertgoers, audience members Nick Johnson and Angel Rodriguez told CNN.

'Everyone just started pushing to the front'


The crowd got increasingly packed over a long period, Johnson said, who added eventually "you just feel like there's a weighted blanket on you."
Rodriguez said he was about 50 feet from the stage when "everyone just started pushing to the front."
"It was so hard to breathe up there; you just have to wait until it pushes back, because if it (the crowd) gets pushed forward, it's likely going to get pushed back," Rodriguez said.
"When you get pushed back, people always fall over," he said.
Amper, one of the other concertgoers, said she's been to the two previous Astroworld events, and it's not unusual for a crowd to "rage" when Scott appears.
"Everyone pushes everyone," she said.


Investigators will review video of the scene and look at how the venue was laid out and whether it had enough exit points, Peña said.
The investigation will explore "what caused, one, the issue of the crowd surge, and two, what prevented people from being able to escape that situation," Peña said.
Houston's emergency management office established
for people who haven't been able to contact those known to have attended the concert.
Old 11-08-21, 03:32 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

After a disastrous initial response from Scott, full blown damage control mode now.

Travis Scott to cover funeral costs of Astroworld victims

(CNN)Travis Scott will cover all funeral costs for the eight victims who died at his Astroworld Festival on Friday, according to a statement released Monday by a representative for the rapper and producer.

The Houston-born artist will also partner with BetterHelp to provide free mental health services to all those affected by the tragedy.
"Travis remains in active conversations with the city of Houston, law enforcement and local first responders to respectfully and appropriately connect with the individuals and families of those involved," the statement reads. "These are the first of many steps Travis plans on taking as a part of his personal vow to assist those affected throughout their grieving and recovery process."Separately, organizers of Astroworld will provide a full refund to all ticketholders -- both those who attended Friday and those who held tickets for Saturday's canceled events, a source close to the situation told CNN Monday.CNN has reached out to festival promoter Live Nation for information about the refund process. In a separate statement Monday, Live Nation stated the company is "working on ways to support attendees, the families of victims, and staff" by providing mental health counseling and will help with hospital costs.Scott took to social media over the weekend and wrote, "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."




Old 11-08-21, 03:43 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Strange that he has a long history of inciting violence at these festivals and has been arrested multiple times and yet, it's somehow part of his act and accepted?

Rapper Travis Scott arrested after concert performance in Arkansas
Old 11-08-21, 03:57 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

I hope he gets sued like crazy. Can't find it right now, but the video of someone begging him to stop playing because someone just died is chilling.
Old 11-08-21, 04:03 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Ugh, what a horrible thing to happen, my condolences to all the victims. I've never liked being in situations like that, I can see how easily tragedies like this can happen. The only shows that I go to now are ones where I get a seat, both because I don't like the feeling of being crushed between a bunch of other people (gives me anxiety just thinking about it), and I can't stand up for long periods of time anyway (bad feet).

Old 11-08-21, 04:13 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Yeah, I went to my first-ever music festival last month. I must have been the oldest person there. I actually was fine watching Haim play the main stage, but the moment they were done, it was an hour until Green Day and literally the moment Haim walked off the stage there was a forceful surge from behind and I felt crushed. I felt a wave of panic rush over me and I felt unsafe. Couldn't get out of that mob fast enough. Was more than happy to watch the Green Day show from the back.
Old 11-08-21, 04:28 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

I haven't been in that situation since I was in my twenties. I remember going to a Nine Inch Nails show, the Jim Rose Circus was up before them, and I went down into the crowd near the front so I could gawk at the crazy shit they were doing. After they were done, and it was getting closer to NIN starting their set, I could almost feel the crowd like it was it's own living thing. I started being pushed back and forth by waves of people, and it got more aggressive as the crowd's excitement was building. I said "Fuck this!" and hightailed it back to my seat while I still could. Later I looked down at the craziness in front of the stage and thought "Holy shit, I could have been stuck in that mess". Nope, not for me.
Old 11-08-21, 04:32 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Guys. Go see music in clubs.

If your answer to that is "The bands I like only play arenas", then start liking better music.

(That's more than a bit tongue in cheek, but I do prefer seeing bands in tiny clubs over big-ass arenas and festivals, and for the most part, the bands I like only play those small venues.)
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Old 11-08-21, 04:45 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Horrible news. Remind me of The Who concert in Cincinnait back in '80 where 11 young people were trampled to death
Old 11-08-21, 04:57 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Originally Posted by dom56
Horrible news. Remind me of The Who concert in Cincinnait back in '80 where 11 young people were trampled to death
Not sure, but I think that one involved the entrance and people rushing to get in the door. I was in quite a few of those with general admission. Everybody's outside waiting for the doors to open, when the doors open everybody rushes forward trying to be one of the first through a skinny door. As soon as the guy takes your ticket you take off running as fast as you can for the stage. At one show the crowd was pressing against the doors so hard some guy was pushed through a closed glass door. Broke the glass and he went right through it.

Even with reserved seats on the floor everybody moves forward and then people from upper levels move down to the floor.
Old 11-08-21, 05:07 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Originally Posted by cultshock
I haven't been in that situation since I was in my twenties. I remember going to a Nine Inch Nails show, the Jim Rose Circus was up before them, and I went down into the crowd near the front so I could gawk at the crazy shit they were doing. After they were done, and it was getting closer to NIN starting their set, I could almost feel the crowd like it was it's own living thing. I started being pushed back and forth by waves of people, and it got more aggressive as the crowd's excitement was building. I said "Fuck this!" and hightailed it back to my seat while I still could. Later I looked down at the craziness in front of the stage and thought "Holy shit, I could have been stuck in that mess". Nope, not for me.
Likewise, but for me it was The Who in 1982 at Exhibition Stadium. At one point, my friend and I pushed our way as close as we could get, but as soon as we stopped, we were 'bubbled' to the back of the crowd.

Pretty nuts, especially considering it was only 3 years after Cincinnati.


Old 11-08-21, 08:19 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Originally Posted by Paff
Guys. Go see music in clubs.

If your answer to that is "The bands I like only play arenas", then start liking better music.

(That's more than a bit tongue in cheek, but I do prefer seeing bands in tiny clubs over big-ass arenas and festivals, and for the most part, the bands I like only play those small venues.)
Oh believe me, I see plenty of bands in clubs (well I did pre-pandemic and hope to again soon) and totally agree that it's a much better experience. Most of the bands I listen to these days (mostly underground-ish metal bands) aren't likely to be playing arenas, that's for sure. Lower billed on festivals maybe, but I'm too old for that festival shit nowadays.
Old 11-08-21, 09:30 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Originally Posted by Paff
Guys. Go see music in clubs.

If your answer to that is "The bands I like only play arenas", then start liking better music.

(That's more than a bit tongue in cheek, but I do prefer seeing bands in tiny clubs over big-ass arenas and festivals, and for the most part, the bands I like only play those small venues.)
Spot on. I call it the wave at metal shows. Main band is about to go on stage and everyone in the back decides they want to be in the front. They push forward and the people in front push back all the while the people in the middle are caught in it either way. It's not like a pit where if someone goes down its easy to section off so people can help them up (which they 99% do help). No, if you go down in that it's very easy to get lost. Add onto the fact that many times few folks have driken water (and worse some are tanked off their ass) and the heat will hit you instantly.

I haven't had to put up with it in quite a while since most of the bands I see play smaller venues. I think Lamb of God in Raleigh might have been the last time but even that wasn't bad because it was a mid size venue. I can't even fathom it for an event that large. As much as we want to blame the artist, the venue, the organizers, and anyone else working I think we can just as easily blame the dipshits who think it's a good idea to force their way up front. People need to know what they are getting into at shows.
Old 11-08-21, 10:07 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

My daughter's favorite music critic, Anthony Fantano's take on Astroworld
Old 11-08-21, 11:12 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Originally Posted by Paff
Guys. Go see music in clubs.
The last time I saw PUP was in a club, and there was a tidal wave of kids in a way I’d never experienced, even with as many punk and metal shows as I’d been to over the years. It wasn’t just bodies slamming into me, but there was almost a gravitational pull as it moved. My wife was lifted off the ground without anyone actually picking her up.

That’s a big part of the reason she’s been so fixated on the Astroworld catastrophe — being able to relate to it on at least some small scale. (Thankfully, PUP are good people and kept things from getting too out of control.)
Old 11-09-21, 01:00 AM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Originally Posted by PerryD
Strange that he has a long history of inciting violence at these festivals and has been arrested multiple times and yet, it's somehow part of his act and accepted?
You can pretty much get away with a ton of shit when you have plenty of money.

I expected various settlements for the victims and then it's back to business as usual.
Old 11-09-21, 08:37 AM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

I've seen / been part of two bad scenes at concerts.

#1) Believe it or not Huey Lewis...kinda. It was at a festival and all these older fans came and set up their chairs and such to settle in early but the band on that stage before Lewis were the Dropkick Murpheys. As you can imagine, a huge swarm descended in front of the stage with crazy moshing. People were picking up the chairs and smashing them all over the place. It was a mess.

#2) Migos. I was a photographer for the concert and fans actually swarmed the gates and some broke in. There was a huge crowd push, bottles flying. So many people carried out over the crowd, passed out. There was little control over the situation. Thankfully, no deaths.

Both these incidents caused for stronger provisions in coming years which was a positive.

Oh, wait, #3) I did almost have a stage collapse on me. Thankfully, it fell backwards just after the band excited the stage. One driver for the group was injured. The rest of the festival was cancelled and the next year they had stronger more reinforced stages.
Old 11-09-21, 10:15 AM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

I was at Donington Monsters Of Rock in 1988 among 120,000 people. The crowd was supposed to be around 70,000 but they oversold. Guns N Roses hit the stage mid-afternoon and the crowd surged. I'm 6'4" and around 220 lbs and couldn't do a single thing as we just moved. Two people were killed at the front and a few dozen injured. It was the craziest sensation. People were falling down and you were just being carried along over them. Something I'll never forget.
Old 11-09-21, 10:24 AM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

I think my days of going to a show with 70K people are now behind me. I've been to a number of music festivals but never to a general admission one. I've seen a number of stadium shows at football fields but again they all had seating charts and chairs etc I'd 1000x rather see a show in a club by a local artist than deal with throngs of people or the after-concert traffic. I had a person literally ram into my car after a Bob Seger show at the Boston Garden because he did not like me getting ahead of him in traffic which resulted in about 1K in damage to my car, it's going to take a lot to get me to go to a major concert again and at the moment I can't think of a single act that could tour that would get me back into the Boston Garden.
Old 11-09-21, 10:48 AM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Originally Posted by jpcamb
I think my days of going to a show with 70K people are now behind me. I've been to a number of music festivals but never to a general admission one. I've seen a number of stadium shows at football fields but again they all had seating charts and chairs etc I'd 1000x rather see a show in a club by a local artist than deal with throngs of people or the after-concert traffic. I had a person literally ram into my car after a Bob Seger show at the Boston Garden because he did not like me getting ahead of him in traffic which resulted in about 1K in damage to my car, it's going to take a lot to get me to go to a major concert again and at the moment I can't think of a single act that could tour that would get me back into the Boston Garden.
Did you consider suing Seger over this? I mean, I know I get pretty aggro from hearing Turn the Page, maybe it's not fair to blame the other driver.
Old 11-09-21, 12:20 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

I've been to large and small shows with GA, mostly metal. There were a few times in arenas where the crowd was surging enough to forcefully move if I was crammed up in the front section. After that, I tended to stick next to the pit, since there was a clear view of the stage and I could easily move if I needed to go somewhere. Smaller clubs or theaters, as well as stadiums, were never an issue. The few festivals I went to were open enough that there wasn't a ton of people in one section surging.

I've noticed a lot more barriers at larger shows, especially through the middle of the crowd, I assume to help alleviate crowd surges and allow for security to have more places to check on the crowd. I don't know if suing Travis Scott is really the right idea. It'll probably be hard to tell that he actually knew what was going on at the time. I also don't know how he gets hit with "inciting riot" charges, since I've seen countless metal bands telling the crowds to "fuck shit up". Of course, for metal, that just means get a large pit going, and pits are typically pretty safe and well managed. The venue definitely fucked up, especially with the inexperience of medical staff.
Old 11-10-21, 03:14 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

We're in a 24 hour Astroworld news cycle here (Houston area) Not my cup of tea musically, but I've been to a few standing room style concerts, with Megadeth being the only one where I felt the surge of a crowd (I was right up front).

It's terrible that this happened, but there is one case where I'm WTF?? A 9 year old was caught up in this, taken by his dad, and is now in a coma. I mean really?? Stadium/arena venue with seating, sure. But a wild free for all type of concert? That's poor judgment by the parents.

​​​​​Every morning, afternoon and evening it's a new lawsuit, investigation, or random story (this morning it was reported that drugs were being sold at the concert, oh really??). But as others have stated, nothing of consequence will happen to the Scott/Organizers. I'm sure they have crazy amounts of insurance for this. But, I think this festival is done.

As far as when he/they knew, there is video of a teen climbing up onto the side of the state trying to alert them off what was happening.



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Old 11-10-21, 03:21 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Originally Posted by SmackDaddy
It's terrible that this happened, but there is one case where I'm WTF?? A 9 year old was caught up in this, taken by his dad, and is now in a coma. I mean really?? Stadium/arena venue with seating, sure. But a wild free for all type of concert? That's poor judgment by the parents.
​​​
Smaller concert, but this summer I saw a guy with his toddler on his shoulders in the mosh pit at a Descendents' show.
Old 11-11-21, 07:18 AM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Good article, but with an Onion headline
NPR: Astroworld's safety plan called for deceased to be referred to as 'smurfs'
Old 11-11-21, 04:41 PM
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Re: Astroworld and Concert Safety

Originally Posted by SmackDaddy
We're in a 24 hour Astroworld news cycle here (Houston area) Not my cup of tea musically, but I've been to a few standing room style concerts, with Megadeth being the only one where I felt the surge of a crowd (I was right up front).
I went to a small show benefit show for local metal radio station KNAC at the Santa Monica Civic auditorium in 1988. Guns n Roses was the headliner. It was all GA with no seats in a place that held 3000-4000 people. When GnR was about to come onstage, I went from 30 people from the stage to 3 people in seconds as the wave of rockers pushed to the front. Not the best time to be wearing a trench coat as I was fighting to stay on my feet with the weight of the crowd pulling me down. A poor woman that stood about 5' tall jumped as the crowd surged and was stuck in place, being held off the ground by the mass of humans. She was shoulder level to me and I tried to fan air on her with my hat so she could breathe. But the crowd kept pushing forward. I was able to help her and get both of us out of the crowd before the band started their set.

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