At least eight people have died and hundreds injured after a crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas.
More than 300 patients were treated by medics following the incident on the opening night of the 50,000-capacity two-day event at NRG Park, promoted by Live Nation.
Tonight’s (6 November) planned second night has been cancelled.
Houston fire chief Sam Pena told reporters: “This is a tragic night. We know that we had at least eight confirmed fatalities tonight and we had scores of individuals that were injured here in this event.
“The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage and that caused some panic and it started causing some injuries. People began to fall out, become unconscious and it created additional panic.
“The mass casualty incident was triggered at around 9.38pm this evening. After that time, we transported 17 patients to the hospitals. Eleven of those that were transported were in cardiac arrest. We won’t know the cause of death of the eight that are confirmed until the medical examiner has completed his investigation.”
Nobody has all the answers tonight
Pena praised the work of the emergency services and Live Nation “in trying to secure what was really a chaotic event”.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Scott, who founded the festival, stopped multiple times during his 75-minute headline slot as he spotted fans in distress and asked security to help them out of the crowd. It added that some fans had stormed the entrance gates at the start of the event at 2pm.
“Nobody has all the answers tonight,” said Houston police chief Troy Finner. “We did have problems on the front, kids for whatever reason started rushing and it got out of control a little bit but we got it under control… I don’t think this incident is related to what happened that caused the deaths.”
With a line-up curated by Scott himself, the festival has previously hosted the likes of Post Malone, Rosalia, Pharrell Williams, Da Baby, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Playboi Carti and Megan Thee Stallion.
Astroworld expanded to two days for its third edition in 2021 following the success of its first two events. According to Live Nation, in November 2019, the festival became the largest single-day artist-curated music festival in the country, as well as the largest music festival in Houston.
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