What happened during tragedy at Travis Scott concert?

November 8, 2021
A visitor writes a note at a memorial outside of the canceled Astroworld festival at NRG Park on November 7, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
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A crowd surging incident at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival on Friday night in Houston led to the deaths of eight attendees and left many others injured.

A criminal investigation is underway and as of Monday, several concertgoers have filed lawsuits alleging that Scott, concert promoter Live Nation, organizer ScoreMore and others involved with the event were responsible for the deadly crowd surge.

Scott, an eight-time Grammy-nominated rapper and Houston native, released a statement expressing his sorrow over Friday’s events.

“I am absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” the rapper wrote on Twitter. 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told CNN’s Pamela Brown on Sunday that his team met to begin reviewing what happened at the concert. The investigation “will take weeks, if not longer,” he said. 

Here’s everything we know about how the music festival turned fatal and what happens next.

What happened at Astroworld 2021?

Houston authorities and witnesses described a crowd surge at the event that left eight dead and several others injured. 

The surge began shortly after 9 p.m. around the time that Scott, a festival headliner and founder, took the stage. As a timer clicked down to start the rapper’s performance, concertgoers pushed toward the stage, crowding the stage and leaving little room to move. Around 50,000 people were in attendance.

Witnesses described a complete security collapse at the venue. The crowd was “out of control” before the show ever opened, said concertgoer Julius Tlacuapa.

Another witness, Reese Bludau, told CNN that the concert “was pure chaos.” He said his height allowed him to stand above the crowds and breathe fresh air, but shorter people would have been crushed and unable to breathe easily.

Latest:Lawsuits filed in aftermath of Astroworld tragedy, Travis Scott’s ‘desire for chaos’ blamed

Who are the victims of incident?

As of Monday morning, eight deaths were confirmed with victims ranging in age between 14 and 27. Twenty-five people were taken to a hospital, Turner said Saturday, and 13 remained there. They included a 10-year-old in critical condition, officials said.

Six of the eight victims’ names have been released, among them: Danish Baig, 27; Rodolfo Angel Peña, 23; Axel Acosta, 21; Franco Patino, 21; Brianna Rodriguez, 16; and John Hilgert, 14. 

The Harris County Medical Examiner is expected to release on Monday the names of all the victims killed at Friday’s concert.

Travis Scott apology video: What did he say?

Scott first released a statement Saturday morning saying he was “devastated” by what occurred. 

“My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life,” he said. 

“I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support,” Scott added. 

Later Saturday, Scott posted a distraught update on his Instagram Stories. “I just want to send out prayers to the ones that (were) lost last night. … You know my fans … really mean the world to me and I always just want to leave them with a positive experience and any time I can make out anything that’s going on, I stop the show and help them get the help they need.”

Who is Travis Scott? Everything to know about the Houston-born ‘Astroworld’ rapper

Concertgoers file lawsuits against Travis Scott, Live Nation, more

By Monday morning, at least three lawsuits were filed in the aftermath of the tragedy. More lawsuits are expected.

Famed civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said he has filed on behalf of survivor Noah Gutierrez and expects to file on behalf of others soon. Gutierrez described a scene of “chaos and desperation,” Crump said.

“We are hearing horrific accounts of the terror and helplessness people experienced,” Crump said in a statement. “The horror of a crushing crowd and the awful trauma of watching people die while trying to save them.”

Lawsuits have also been filed on behalf of concert attendees Manuel Souza and Kristian Paredes. 

“There is no excuse for the events that unfolded at NRG stadium on Friday night,” Paredes’ attorney Thomas J. Henry said in a news release. “There is every indication that the performers, organizers, and venue were not only aware of the hectic crowd but also that injuries and potential deaths may have occurred. Still, they decided to put profits over their attendees and allowed the deadly show to go on.”

Victim Danish Baig died trying to save his fiancee

One victim of the tragedy is being credited for saving his fiancee’s life amid the chaos. 

Danish Baig attempted to fend off scores of people bulldozing toward Olivia Swingle, Baig’s brother, Ammar Baig, told People. Baig’s younger brother, Basil, was at the event and recounted the events to Ammar. 

Danish “managed to get it to where she was able to get out,” Ammar Baig said. “Somehow, the ambulance managed to get to her, and then, by the time they got to my brother, they tried resuscitating him. And they said that before they got to the hospital, he couldn’t make it.”

Swingle said in an emotional Facebook post Sunday morning that her heart was “destroyed” by the loss of her fiancee.

“I am in hell,” she wrote, in part. “I would not be here today if it was not for him, he is a hero and the world needs to know his story.” 

‘He is a hero’:Astroworld victim died ‘trying to save’ fiancee

Who is Travis Scott and what is the Astroworld Festival?

Scott launched the Astroworld festival in 2018, months after the release of his third studio album of the same name. Since then, the concert has occurred every year, except for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, at Houston’s NRG Park – the former location of Six Flags AstroWorld theme park.

His “Astroworld” album led Scott to receive multiple Grammy nominations, including best rap album and best rap song for his collaboration with Drake for “Sicko Mode.” He has been nominated eight times throughout his career. 

Scott has a reputation of high-energy performances and rowdy crowds. He has been arrested at least two times – in 2015 and 2017 – for inciting riots and disorderly conduct at his shows. He pleaded guilty in both cases, the former resulting in a one-year probation and the latter he was ordered to pay court fees and restitution for two injured people.

The 29-year-old rapper has a 3-year-old daughter with Kylie Jenner, who announced in September that she’s pregnant with their second child.

Contributing: Jorge L. Ortiz, John Bacon, Celina Tebor, Elise Brisco, Hannah Yasharoff, Scott Gleeson



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