Popular American rapper Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, was cancelled on Saturday after a massive crowd surge on Friday night (U.S. Central Time) left eight people dead and more than 300 injured, including a 10-year-old, according to local officials. More than 50,000 fans had gathered during Scott's performance at the festival outside NRG Park, reports 'Variety' quoting 'Houston Chronicle'. As many as 23 people were hospitalised and more than 300 treated throughout the day.
Scott's Friday night set was broadcast live on Apple Music. It featured his usual high-energy performance style, along with an extended appearance from Drake. The Astroworld Festival was founded by Scott in 2018.
At a press conference following the tragedy, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pea outlined the timeline of the tragedy. He said that at 9 p.m. (local time) on Friday, the crowd began surging forward during Scott's set, which caused the rapper to pause the show several times in order to ask security to help out fans.
Members of the fire department went into the dense crowd to rescue the injured. At 9.38 p.m. the "mass-casualty incident" was triggered, at which time CPR began to be administered to several unconscious fans. Meanwhile, social media posts show the frenzied scene as officials tried to rescue concert goers, reports 'Variety'.
"It happened all at once. It seemed like it happened over the course of just a few minutes," Executive Assistant Chief of the fire department, Larry Satterwhite, said.
"A lot of times, kids don't make the best decisions," he continued. "Because they're young and amped up. I just think it was so many people and a passion to see this entertainer. I don't know, and a lot of bad decisions." The rapper has a huge fan following among young people.
"Our hearts are broken," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. Houston is in Harris County, Texas. "People go to these events looking for a good time. It's not the kind of event where you expect to find out about fatalities," the judge added.