It was three weeks ago today (November 5) when fans were caught in a crowd crush at the Astroworld Festival in Houston. The death toll is now ten and scores more are still nursing injuries.
The family of 14-year-old John Hilgert was one of the fatalities. His parents are suing a long list of people for negligence. The same lawyer has filed suit on behalf of a minor identified only as “B.C.” for injuries sustained at the concert.
The Washington Post has conducted an investigation into the tragedy (paywall). After viewing dozens of videos, interviewing witnesses, and analysis by crowd control experts, they say they’ve figured out part of what happened. A crowd surge during Travis Scott’s set saw one pocket of the audience turn into an epicentre for the chaos that followed.
In this area, people were tightly compressed. Seven of the ten people who died were in this area. According to the report, there were as little as 1.85 square feet per person and hemmed in on three sides by metal barriers. When things get that squished (“compressive asphyxiation”), a crowd can easily collapse upon itself.
Here’s a look at the WaPo report. Beware of some disturbing images and sounds.
Meanwhile, another big festival, the California edition of Rolling Loud, is scheduled for December 10-12. It, too, is promoted by Live Nation. As a precaution, the promoter has restricted entry to people 18 and older.
Love ya’ll – we want everyone to rage safely. Here’s an important update for all our fans who are under 18 for RL California. pic.twitter.com/9iwjYEmS6p— Rolling Loud (@RollingLoud) November 23, 2021