Houston, TX – Tragedy struck the opening night of Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in his hometown of Houston on Friday night (November 5). According to ABC13 Houston, eight people are dead and hundreds injured after the crowd of approximately 50,000 concert attendees started flooding the NFG Stadium stage.
As Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña explained, “The crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage, and people began to panic.” The melee began around 9:15 p.m. local time, and once Scott and organizers Live Nation realized what was going on, they immediately stopped the show.
HipHopDX contributor Mark Elibert was on hand for the scene and according to his recollections, the horrors extended to all the human senses.
“There was an energy that wasn’t supposed to be there and a level of aggression in the air brought forth by dusty, weird looking people,” Elibert recalls. “People hopping gates … smoking disgusting-smelling blunts. I heard people were selling pills and I couldn’t get over how nasty those blunts smelled. I assume that means those blunts were laced with [shit.]”
As of press time, officials report 17 people were transported to the hospital — with 11 of them being in a state of cardiac arrest. Around 300 people were also estimated to have been treated on the festival grounds at a makeshift treatment facility. The names and ages of the casualties weren’t known, but Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said one of the victims was 10 years old.
Peña also said CPR had to be performed on 11 of the victims and one point, HFD had 55 units in-service for the festival.
With so much chaos in combination with the music on stage, Elibert says there was no real certainty of danger for many of the concertgoers — until it was too late.
“Honestly, when Travis got on and opened with ‘Escape Plan,’ things got out of hand,” he says. “One girl made it out and she stood like four feet away from me crying, saying she had to get out because she felt her ribs caving in. I initially thought it was normal because that usually happens at festivals but it still felt like something wasn’t right.”
Astroworld has released an official statement expressing their sorrow and also canceling the remainder of the festival.
“Our hearts are with the Astroworld family tonight – especially those we lost and their love ones,” it reads. “We are focused on supporting local officials however we can with that in mind the festival will no longer be hold 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 @houstonpolice. Thank you to our partners at the Houston Police Department, Fire Department and NRG Park for their response and support.”
HipHopDX sends our condolence to the victims’ family. Additional reporting by Trent Clark.