On Sunday, the security officials confirmed that they launched a criminal investigation after the concertgoers suddenly surged toward the music stage during a live performance by rapper Travis Scott at a Houston Astroworld Music Festival, killing at least eight people and several injured. Moreover, Sylvester Turner, the Mayor of Houston, told Pamela Brown of CNN that his team met to review the incident at the concert. Further, he added that the investigation would take weeks, if not longer.
Around fifty thousand people were attending the music festival, which began in 2018. As a timer clicked down to begin the performance of the rapper, the crowd pushed toward the stage in Houston, which resulted in crowding the scene and leaving little room to move. The chaos left at least eight people dead and several injured. According to witnesses, there was a complete security collapse at the venue, and the crowd was out of control before the show actually started.
At least 8 deaths have been confirmed at the opening night of Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, Houston Fire Department officials report.
Seventeen people were taken to the hospital, 11 of whom were described as being in cardiac arrest. pic.twitter.com/BArkGaL32q
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) November 6, 2021
Another witness of the heartbreaking incident, Reese Bludau, told CNN that the music concert was pure chaos. He also said that his good height allowed him to stand above the crowds and breathe fresh air, but low-heightened people could not breathe easily. Bludau added that he heard the strong chants of ‘stop the show’ and ‘help us’ from the crowd. But he told himself to stay calm.
What about the security at the Astroworld Festival?
Today, the Harris County Medical Examiner is expected to release the names of all victims killed at Houston’s concert. In addition, the ages of the victims lay between fourteen and twenty-seven. The authorities took twenty-five people to a hospital, and thirteen remained there, officials said. Turner told CNN that the authorities intensified the security of this event as compared to previous Astroworld festivals.
There were more than five hundred Houston police officers and seven hundred private security officers in attendance. However, the beefed-up security finally proved useless. Harris County’s top elected official, Judge Lina Hidalgo, said that the fatal tragedy results from erratic events, of circumstances coming together that could not likely, have been avoided.
On the other hand, experts said that the deaths are usually a result of the density – excessive people packed into a small space. In addition, the crowd is frequently running either away from an alleged threat or toward something that they want, like a performer on the stage, before hitting a barrier.
A visiting professor of crows science at the U.K.’s University of Suffolk, G. Keith Still, testified as an expert witness in court cases involving crowds. However, he still said he usually doesn’t look at the reports of eyewitnesses in the initial stages of analyzing an incident because emotions can cloud the picture, and eyewitnesses can see only what is instantly around them.
Grief Statement from the Rapper
Houston native and an eight-time Grammy-nominated rapper, Scott, released a brief statement to express his sorrow over the Friday’s occurring. The rapper tweeted that he absolutely shocked by what took place last night. Further, he added that his prayers go out to the families and those who were impacted during the event at the music festival.
In the same way, Kylie Jenner, who shares a three-year-old daughter with Scott, spoke out on her Instagram Stories and wrote that she and Scott felt broken and devastated after the Friday night happening. She also said that her grief thoughts and prayers are with all those who lost their lives in the chaos and those who were injured are affected in any way.
Live Nation Entertainment Legal Penalties History
According to records, the promoter behind the Astroworld music festival was cited for security concerns previously by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In addition, the largest live music promoter globally, Live Nation Entertainment, faced fine or legal charges for issues ranging from raucous crowds to equipment failures at several concerts and venues in the last decade.
Lisa Keri Stricklin sued singer Gwen Stefani and Live Nation Entertainment in federal court for injuries she suffered during a 2016 concert at the PNC Pavilion in Charlotte, North Carolina. According to the lawsuit, concertgoers are primarily seated in lawn seats and a reserved section. However, during the music concert, Stefani made an unplanned announcement that people in the lawn seats could move to the reserve section and fill in anywhere they liked.
The court fined the company $5350 in 2019 for the incident in which a worker walking near a performance area was hit in the head by a six-foot metal post. The company also faced a penalty of $4250 in a settlement for a 2011 accident in which a worker as a rigger had his finger crushed while at work to remove a cable. Later the surgeons cut off the finger.