Rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, which was set to take place in Houston over the weekend, turned deadly on Friday night when a stampede broke out in the crowd. The surge killed eight people and left more than 300 injured, according to CNN.
Scott, a Houston native, first launched the festival in 2018. This year’s event had a sold-out crowd of approximately 50,000 people. But footage from earlier on Friday shows hoards of non-ticketed fans jumping turnstiles and fences to enter the festival, suggesting the number of attendees exceeded the venue’s capacity.
Witnesses say that people began to push forward en masse as Scott took the stage around 9pm, according to The Houston Chronicle.
“The crowd became tighter and tighter, and at that point it was hard to breathe. When Travis came out performing his first song, I witnessed people passing out next to me,” TK Tellez, a concertgoer, said. “We were all screaming for help, and no one helped or heard us. It was horrifying. People were screaming for their lives, and they couldn’t get out. Nobody could move a muscle.”
Another described the scene as a “death trap,” with people repeatedly crying out, “stop the show.” Some recall that Scott temporarily paused his performance, but he soon resumed even as emergency responders administered CPR and loaded fans into ambulances.
“I’m honestly just devastated,” Scott shared in an Instagram post on Saturday. He said he is committed to working with authorities and locals to help the families of those impacted by the tragedy.