Eight dead, hundreds injured at Astrofest 2021


Emma Minnick, Editor

On Friday, November 5, rap artist Travis Scott hosted the third Astrofest in Houston, Texas. The event was unexpectedly tragic, with a massive crowd surge killing eight and injuring several more.

Astrofest is a rap and hip-hop festival, and this year’s event was set to feature artists like Tame Impala, Bad Bunny, Don Toliver, and SZA. The massive event drew around 50,000 attendees. The event was going well at first, until around 9 p.m., when Scott was set to perform and audience members rushed the stage.

The mass stampede crushed attendees, leading to broken bones, bruises, and head trauma. Instagram user @seannafaith said this about the experience, “There were so many people… The rush of people became tighter and tighter. Breathing became something only a few were capable of…”

What started the mass panic is unknown, although police are investigating potential drug use. Several individuals reported drugging, including a security officer who was injected with something amid the chaos and needed to be revived with Narcan. Some individuals, such as 27-year-old Danish Baig, even suffered cardiac arrest during the event. However, the most common cause of death was compressive asphyxia, caused by the tight crowd.

Scott and his team have come under fire for their response to the tragedy. Scott continued to perform after being informed of medical emergencies within the crowd. Around 9:42, the rapper called medics into the crowd to help an unconscious man. The performance continued for roughly an hour, while audience members screamed to “stop the show.” Event organizers Live Nation and ScoreMore have faced negligence lawsuits, and Scott himself has been sued for millions of dollars in damages.