Music fans who attended the tragic Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas on Friday (November 5) returned to the festival site yesterday (November 7) to pay their respects to those who died.
During a headline set from Travis Scott – who organised the festival – a “mass-casualty” crowd crush occured, leaving at least eight people dead with hundreds more reportedly injured, according to Texas police.
In a new article by Rolling Stone, many who were present at Astroworld on Friday spoke of returning yesterday to the festival site at NRG Park to pay their respects to those who died in the tragic incident.
“If one person pushed, it was a wave effect of people getting pushed to the front, sides, and back,” 16-year-old attendee Evan Pond recalled. “If someone fell, people were pushing on top. People were jumping on medic carts. At some points, I couldn’t breathe. It’s traumatising. Looking left and right, seeing people being carried out, passed out on the floor, and crying for help, the whole thing is just crazy to me.”
Another, who said he found out about the deaths when he got home from the festival, said he was sad but “wasn’t surprised” at the news after being involved in the crush.
“It was like being in the bottom of the ocean, where you can see the top but you can’t swim up,” another attendee said. “I made it out, and I was hyperventilating. Anyone in their right mind would’ve panicked. I had no elbow room and could barely breathe. Everyone was pulling. If that’s what hell is like, I never want to go to hell.”
Fans have also been sharing photos and tributes online, showing the mass of flowers and messages left outside the festival site.
Many paid tributes to the victims personally, with Rolling Stone identifying that they include a 14-year-old and 16-year-old.
Yesterday, Kanye West made his own tribute to the victims of the tragedy, dedicating the latest iteration of Sunday Service to those who lost their lives, while Roddy Ricch is donating his fee for his performance at the festival to the victims’ families.
“My fans really mean the world to me,” he said in the latter. “I always just really want to leave them with a positive experience. Anytime I can make out what’s going on, I stop the show and help them get the help they need.”
Those present at the festival shared various accounts of what happened, including posting videos of people asking security and camera crew for help only for staff to appear to ignore them.
Scott has since been hit with three lawsuits relating to the crowd crush, with one filing accusing Scott, festival organisers Live Nation and ScoreMore and other parties of “negligence and gross negligence”. One suit also claims the incident was a result of “a motivation for profit at the expense of concertgoers’ health and safety”.
Experts have also weighed in on the tragedy, with some arguing that event organisers “weren’t prepared for the crowd they were going to get”. One expert, who remained anonymous, told Rolling Stone that they “don’t even want to speculate how difficult it’s going to be” for rap festivals in particular to obtain insurance in future.