On Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, rapper Travis Scott hosted his Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, where 9 innocent people were killed and dozens more were injured. In this crowd of over 50,000 people, a mob surged toward the front of the stage, crushing and killing those in front of them.
Eric Daniels, a witness of this horrific event, spoke with CNN about the situation. Daniels was with his son about six feet above general admission, where they saw the first unconscious person in the crowd 15 minutes after the performance began. “We saw four, five limp bodies … my son and I both witnessed three or four people being administered CPR,” said Daniels. People were chanting “stop the show,” but the show did not stop.
Madeline Eskins, an ICU nurse who attended the concert with her boyfriend Sam, felt firsthand how painful this crowd surge really was. She talked with CNN about her traumatic experience. Thirty minutes before the performance began, a timer showed up on the big screen counting down the seconds until the performance. That was when people began rushing the stage, and shortly after, Eskins felt like she was being crushed and went unconscious. “I’ve been to concerts and, yes, it gets tight, but I’ve never felt like I was going to pass out,” Eskins concluded. “I never saw people collapsing. I definitely never saw anybody die.”
“This was not a concert, this was a fight for survival,” said Jeffrey Schmidt, who attended the festival with his best friend Casey Wagner. As the two tried to make it out of the chaos alive, it just got progressively worse as more people fell unconscious. Schmidt said that he did not think he could make it out alive because his legs were stuck. Thankfully, he found his way out and rushed to find the authorities, but they did not listen to him. “That is what traumatized me the most,” said Schmidt, “that I could not help the people around me.”
Scott and his reality T.V. star girlfriend, Kylie Jenner, have both recently spoken out about the situation through social media. “I am absolutely devastated by what took place last night” Scott posted on his Twitter account. “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.” Jenner posted a similar message on her Instagram story. “Travis and I are broken and devastated,” she began. “My thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their lives, were injured or affected in any way by yesterday’s events.” She said that they were unaware of what was going on and that they are praying for all families affected by this tragedy.
A few days after the concert, the names of the people who passed away in the crowd surge were revealed: John Hilgert (14), Brianna Rodriguez (16), Franco Patino (21), Jacob Jurinek (20), Danish Baig (27), Axel Acosta (21), Bharti Shahani (22), Rodolfo Peña (23) and Madison Dubiski (23).