Astroworld witnesses describe Travis Scott’s ‘terrifying’ fest, deaths

November 6, 2021
Emergency personnel respond to the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Friday night.
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Astroworld festivalgoers said they witnessed dozens trampled by the massive crowd, teenagers giving each other CPR and fans screaming out for help that was slow to come during Friday’s deadly concert stampede. 

At least eight people were killed and scores of others are reported injured. Rapper Travis Scott, who headlines the festival, tweeted Saturday that he is “absolutely devastated” after learning of the deaths and injuries. 

“People were trying to get closer to Travis and ignored the pile of people they were stepping on. Some were crying, others were bleeding from their faces and I was the only one helping while the crowd just danced away,” professional DJ Billy Nasser told USA TODAY. 

Nasser has worked and attended festivals such as Rolling Loud and said nothing compared to the “madness” he experienced at Astroworld. He noted there was a barricade around the crowd for Scott’s set that made it “nearly impossible” to get out. 

What happened? At least 8 dead, dozens injured after crowd surges stage at Astroworld Festival in Houston

Nasser attempted to lift people over the barricade and help younger attendees off the ground but says no one was there to help. Paramedics weren’t given enough space or a path to move because of the overpacked crowd, and festivalgoers “didn’t care to stop dancing to notice,” Nasser said. 

He said he witnessed bodies carried out on gurneys, women crying for help and desperate people giving CPR to their unconscious friends.

“I had to check people’s pulses and I was screaming to guide paramedics to our section. The image of this one kid with unresponsive, lifeless eyes is forever ingrained into my head. I just knew he and so many others were dead,” Nasser said.

Rene Perez and Charles Alford also attended the festival and were shocked by the number of people passing out or being “crushed in” by the crowds. As people in need were screaming, Perez said paramedics struggled to get through the crowds. On multiple occasions, he saw concertgoers jump on top of emergency response vehicles and security golf carts, he said. 

“It was insane and dangerous, it was dark and you saw people reaching their hands out from the ground, and me and my friend tried to help them,” Perez told USA TODAY. “It just felt like staffing was low, and it felt like we were the only ones helping.”

‘I am absolutely devastated’:Travis Scott responds to fatal Astroworld concert

Alford considers himself a “bigger guy” at 286 pounds and said even he struggled to move through the crowd. He said he felt “helpless and scared” because as much as he tried, he couldn’t lift everyone out of the barricade or through the crowd. As he attempted to carry a woman away from the stage area, people pushed against him and security was nowhere to be seen. 

“I had an ‘I might die’ moment, I saw almost no one helping people and I even started to fall and my chest felt heavy. My survival mode kicked in,” Alford said. “It was terrifying, because the music didn’t stop and the help didn’t seem to come.”

Taylor Leigh was elbowed in the face, had her hair yanked and was shoved to the ground while trying to move away from the “chaotic” crowd. She said she was shocked people were enjoying the festival when others were screaming for help and being trampled. 

Leigh, who attended with her sister, said she wouldn’t return to another festival after the “terrifying” Astroworld experience. 

What is Astroworld?What we know about the ‘mass casualty incident’ at Travis Scott’s festival

“I was having a little bit of a panic attack because the crowd was so packed and I lost my sister at one point. I had people really close to my chest, I felt like I couldn’t breathe,” Leigh told USA TODAY.

Hours after the festival, Alford said he still struggles to understand how everything went so wrong and said the deaths were fully “preventable.”

“I saw people collapse and some just kept dancing. It felt and was inhumane,” Alford said. “11 people didn’t need to die. People paid to come to a festival and died.”

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Life is like a running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting News is my passion. Because my visitors have the right to know the truth and perfectly.

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