The Astroworld Festival in Houston ended in disaster when eight people died and hundreds suffered nonfatal injuries when a deadly surge occurred within the crowd of approximately 50,000 people. Many of the audience members were young people who were eager to see Travis Scott, a Houston rapper, on the festival stage. When the surge occurred in the festival crowd, there was little anybody could do, it seemed, to stop it. Audience members fell to the ground and lost consciousness as many were trampled, trapped, and ultimately crushed as thousands in the crowd rushed toward the stage. In the aftermath of the tragic event that resulted in so many serious injuries, family members of those who were injured and killed are asking how this devastating harm happened and who is liable.
Details of the Astroworld Festival Injuries and Fatalities
In order to understand who may be liable for the serious and fatal injuries that occurred at the Astroworld Festival, it is critical to learn more about the facts of the event. The two-day festival was outdoors at Houston’s NRG Park, and it began on Friday, November 5. It was organized by the popular concert promoter Live Nation and by Travis Scott. When Scott got on stage at approximately 9:00 p.m. on Friday, the large-scale rush to the stage occurred, which resulted in audience members being pushed to the ground and ultimately being crushed.
The eight festivalgoers who were killed in the human stampede were all between the ages of 14 and 27, Houston city officials reported. Many of the students attended local Houston high schools and are being remembered by their peers, teachers, and community members. According to a report from ABC News, a ninth-grade high schooler who attended Memorial High School was among those killed, as was a junior at Heights High School. Other casualties included a 21-year-old student from the University of Dayton who traveled to Houston for the concert, a junior at the University of Illinois, a 23-year-old from Laredo, and a 27-year-old festivalgoer who died while attempting to save his fiancé, who was also trapped in the rushing crowd. The ABC News report indicates that family members of the deceased plan to seek legal counsel concerning the deaths.
The extent of the injuries was so severe and widespread that a field hospital was set up at NRG Park, while other concertgoers were transported to local hospitals. In total, 25 patients had to be transported to hospitals for treatment, 11 concertgoers required CPR, and 13 people remained hospitalized a day after the concert. A report in The New York Times indicated that some people in the audience attempted to lift those who fell to the ground in order to move them to safety by “surf[ing] them over the top of the crowd.” Although people in the crowd screamed and pleaded to stop the show, “it kept going,” The New York Times reported.
Liability for Deaths at the Houston Festival
Who is liable when deaths and serious injuries occur at a music festival like this one? The report in The New York Times noted that many questions remain unanswered, including whether the safety plans developed by Live Nation and Scott were defective, whether the plans were appropriate but were not followed properly, whether drugs played a role in the “mass casualty event,” or whether too many people had attended the performance at NRG Park.
According to Houston fire chief Samuel Peña, the venue is supposed to be able to hold up to 200,000 people at one time, and this specific event was limited to 50,000. As such, the size of the crowd on its face does not appear to be the underlying cause for the tragic deaths and injuries. Peña also told The New York Times that exits did not appear to be blocked, and that the festival had actually increased security from the last time it was held in 2019 as a result of “crowd-control issues.” To be sure, the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, reported that there was “more security over there than we had at the World Series games.”
Responsibility ultimately may be with Live Nation, and potentially with Scott, according to reports. Based on information reported by The New York Times, a video surfaced that showed Scott speaking to the crowd and saying, “I want to see some rages. Who want to rage?” An Insider article also identified previous Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations indicating that Live Nation Worldwide and Live Nation Entertainment have been cited for at least 10 safety violations between the years 2016 and 2019.
Seek Advice from a Personal Injury Attorney in Houston
If you or someone you love sustained serious or deadly injuries at the Astroworld Festival, you should seek advice from a Houston personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may be eligible to file a claim for financial compensation and to hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact Nava Law Group, P.C. today.