A Timeline of the Astroworld Tragedy

10 people, including a 9 year old boy, have died as a result of the festival hosted by Travis Scott due to crowd crush. Here’s what you need to know:

Bobby Liming, Sandscript Editor

Last month, rap artist Travis Scott hosted yet another year of his Astroworld festival. The music festival, which is themed around his record of the same name, soon took a tragic turn during the first day of the festival, resulting in not only hundreds being injured, but 8 deaths at the scene followed by two more during the days later due to injuries. The ages of those who had died at the scene range from twenty seven to just fourteen, with another person, who was just nine, being the most recent to have died from their injuries during treatment.


The cause of this massive tragedy was a phenomenon known as “crowd crush,” where a massive crowd of people push heavily towards a specific point, resulting in the trampling, overheating, and suffocation of those closest to the focal point of the crowd. In this specific instance, the problem began during Travis’s set during the festival, where a massive push towards the stage caused intense pressure towards those closest to the barricade (the barriers between the stage itself and the general admission pit).


Described as a stampede by victims, some people may find this to be incredibly similar to the Woodstock ‘99 event, where a similar overcrowding issue caused the deaths of three people – notably less than the Astroworld situation.


There were also several reports of either a person or several people with a syringe filled with an unknown substance attacking people in the crowd. Though this wouldn’t explain the majority of what had happened at the festival, one instance of this was confirmed by the Houston Police Department (HPD). The HPD also confirmed that Travis continued to perform for 37 minutes after the show was declared by the state as a “mass casualty event.”


Since the event, several victims have come out with stories and videos of the event, showing the extent of how bad the festival became. One of these clips showed Travis singing with autotune while looking at a body being carried out by the crowd, with it being unknown if the person was either unconscious or dead. 


The father of the youngest death, a 9 year old boy, spoke about their story – he states that he had taken his son to the show, while attempting to stay out of a large portion of the crowd from the beginning due to the child’s age. His father, holding his child up from the crowd, passed out as a result. The child, being taken into the hospital before the father had woken up or been aware, suffered from severe organ damage, brain swelling, and a case of cardiac arrest before they died from being trampled. 


The oldest, who had gone with their fiancé, attempted to defend her from the crowd, eventually being what allowed for her to escape the crowd unharmed. Still being in the crowd, though, they had been separated, and he eventually died on his way to the hospital. His fiancé writes, “I am in hell; I would not be here today if it wasn’t for him, he is a hero and the world needs to know his story.”


Travis, as was brought to light after the event, has a strong history of encouraging the type of behavior seen at the festival. For example, he made a tweet calling on his fans to “sneak the wild ones in” who didn’t have tickets for another, non-related show. Another clip of a separate show displays Travis calling on fans in the pit to beat up someone who tried to grab Travis’s shoe while stage diving. The reaction of his fans support the fact that these statements from the artist have impacted the result of the festival – clips have been shown of huge groups of people, likely in the hundreds, breaking through barriers and security in order to sprint towards the show’s entry. 


Despite the fact that there was no way for security to stop an intense burst of the crowd as previously mentioned, allegations have been made that much of the staff wasn’t properly prepared for the festival. A security guard, for example, has gone on record stating that, not only has he never done concert security prior to the show, but he had never once been to a concert in any form. He also alleges that he was hired without any ID, and that he was told he would be paid through the program CashApp. 


Another concert-goer, who happened to be an ICU nurse, goes into detail about having passed out in the crowd, only to not be treated and, instead, having to go on to treat others. She also alleges that the medical staff were incorrectly taking pulses of victims, and giving CPR to people who already had a pulse. Recently, though, another nurse staffed at the show has spoken out against these claims.


Yet another individual, a concert-goer who was at the festival’s barricade with a friend, states that they had made their way to the platform where a cameraman was filming the set. They state they had climbed a ladder in order to get help from the person working the camera, hoping to draw attention to the crowd and stop the show, only to end up being threatened that they would be pushed down the 15-foot platform to what would be their death, all despite shouts that people were dying in the pit. Travis currently claims he was fully unaware of the extent of the tragedy. 


To attack these claims of ignorance to the events that Travis made, people began sharing example after example of other artists who had stopped shows either partially or completely mid-setlist in order to check on the crowd. The biggest example of this was a clip circulating of a Linkin Park performance, where, after a single person faints, the band calls on the crowd to put safety as their top priority, and chanting the line “If someone falls, what do you do?” with a crowd response of “pick them up!”


Fans also made it clear that there were ambulances in the crowd of people, with Travis calling it out in the middle of the show, only to continue performing. In fact, this ambulance had its own fair share of issues – people had begun to climb on and even dance on top of the vehicle, which stopped it from being able to reach the people it needed to. One of the people who did this later had their Instagram uncovered, where he posted about the negative response he got for his actions. He accused it of being “cancel culture,” calling on people to “repost this if I hurt your feelings too.”


Travis later issued an apology over Instagram, where he made a black-and-white video which gave no extra information, and was criticized for being nothing but a fake way to humanize Travis for PR. He also made much more professional (though subject to the same critiques) text-based apologies. The only other apologetic step he has taken since was a partnership with the company BetterHelp, to offer one free month of online therapy to victims. This was also heavily criticized, with it also getting accusations of being a PR move for BetterHelp, which is a company that had already been under fire for not using licensed therapists despite advertisements that it can be a partial supplement to therapy. It also got hate for the fact that they are only offering a month of online therapy, which is not going to be of help to victims due to both its online nature and the incredibly short time span it lasts. 


Since then, there have been billions of dollars worth of lawsuits, of which Travis is fighting to have no responsibility for in all charges being made. Travis, also, as of the time of writing, released his first interview since the event less than a week ago. He continues to deny any responsibility for what happened, again stating that he was fully unaware of the events that had happened until after the show. 

If you wish, you may donate to the victims of the event through this verified GoFundMe page.