Houston, TX

Fatal aftermath of Travis Scott’s Astroworld could change how music festivals are structured moving forward

Jalyn Smoot

Astroworld Festival canceled after the death of eight people at Day 1 on Friday nightElizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON- Following the deaths of eight people at the event Friday night, the Astroworld Festival is now under investigation by local and federal authorities.

Members of a densely packed crowd rushed toward a stage and were crushed against each other at AstroFest, a music festival popularized by Houston rapper Travis Scott. The aforementioned eight people were killed and dozens of others were injured, 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.

The causes of death for each of the eight people are not yet known, though Turner did confirm that a few of them died of cardiac arrest.

"What happened at Astroworld Festival was a tragedy," Turner said in a news release. "An estimated 50,000 people attended the event Friday night, expecting to enjoy a music concert with friends and return home safely. I extend my condolences to the families of the eight people who died and the approximately 17 people who were injured at the event. Many of them suffered cardiac arrest."

Many eyewitnesses that attended the Astroworld music festival took to social media to criticize the event staffers, citing the lack of concern and medical attention given to those experiencing respiratory issues.

Overnight, videos surfaced on social media, illustrating the chaos that took place.

Warning: The following videos include profanity

While some pleaded with the camera crews to call for medical attention, others began chanting "Stop the show!" at Travis Scott so people could be tended to.

The attempt to cease the show was unsuccessful and medics were forced to try to revive people amongst the fray of the concert, eyewitnesses say.

In some video clips, people can be seen dancing atop the emergency vehicles sent in to recover victims.

Many of the eyewitnesses also claimed that the event was understaffed, which led to additional loss of life.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has since disputed those claims, citing that the event had more security than the MLB playoffs.

"We had more security over there than we had at the World Series games," Tuner told The New York Times in a phone interview Saturday.

Turner did not want to pin the blame on improper event planning but said he will keep all options in mind until the investigation reveals more.

"We do know that there were several cases of cardiac arrest. What was the cause of that?" Turner said.

"I don't even want to go to drug overdoses," the Houston mayor added. "We are looking at all potential causes of this incident or what caused the cardiac arrest. We're not taking anything off the table."

Whatever the root cause is, this is an incredibly tragic event.

Travis Scott, who performed amidst the death and chaos, has since released a statement via Twitter, claiming to cooperate with Houston PD during the investigation.

Regardless of the investigation results, music festivals will simply have to increase security and safety measures moving forward.

An event of this magnitude should never have a lack of event staff, specifically qualified medics, and hopefully, this is the last time anything remotely close to this occurs.

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I write about Dallas and Collin County sports, politics, interesting people, and environmental issues. I strive to shine a light on issues that are still in the dark and help to give a voice to the voiceless

Dallas, TX

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