Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival ended in mass chaos as dozens of people were injured and at least eight were killed on the first night of what was to be two days of performances in Houston, leading to the cancellation of the remainder of the event.
The weekend NRG Park event kicked off Friday, Nov. 5, and drew a crowd of about 50,000 concertgoers. It ended abruptly around 9:30 p.m. after a mass of attendees forged their way toward the stage as Scott performed, constricting those in the front who had nowhere to go.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said eight people, ranging in age from 14 to 27, were killed and hundreds of others suffered varying degrees of injury.
“The crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage, and people began to panic,” Peña said while speaking with 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 — they were unable to escape that situation,” he added.
Scott, 29, noticed the chaos unfolding while performing with surprise guest Drake and notified security. “Once we started having the mass casualty incident, they were starting CPR on several people, and it happened all at once,” said Larry Satterwhite, Houston Police executive assistant chief, said during a press conference.
“It seemed like it happened over the course of just a few minutes. Suddenly, we had several people down on the ground experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode.”
A reported 300 people were examined at medical units that were already stationed at the festival, however they were quickly overwhelmed. On Twitter, Scott acknowledged the tragedy with a post that read, “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.”
The following statement was released by event organizers Saturday morning:
“Our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight – especially those we lost and their loved ones. We are focused on supporting local officials however we can. With that in mind the festival will no longer be held on Saturday. As authorities mentioned in their press conference earlier, they are looking into the series of cardiac arrests that took place. If you have any relevant information on this, please reach out to Houston Police. Thank you to our partners at the Houston Police Department, Fire Department, and NRG Park for their response and support.”
The festival founded by Scott is in its third year. Just two years ago in 2019 a similar but smaller scale incident occurred. While gaining entry into the festival three people were trampled by a flood of overly eager concertgoers. That same year Scott’s fans rushed the doors of a Tulsa, Oklahoma, venue when his concert was canceled.