Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian

Recently, a music festival created by rapper Travis Scott and named after his album, “Astroworld,” received plenty of public backlash after the festival turned deadly. Concertgoers in Houston suffered from a crowd surge which left many trampled and gasping for air while a wall of people pressed against them. Local police have since announced an investigation into the situation after statements and views were shared across social media platforms. According to these statements, attendees were put in danger during the festival, where there were eight casualties and about 300 injured in the aftermath.

After the first reports of trouble, the concert continued for about 40 minutes, as Scott himself, as well as the organizers, were allegedly unaware of any mishaps while the crowd was chanting “Stop the show.” Before the festival even started, there were videos on social media of people trying to rush through the festival’s VIP entrance while ignoring security and passing by the metal detectors. According to another report, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner also visited Scott beforehand to talk about the energy of the crowd and his concerns.

As the festival began and Travis Scott took the stage, the crowd began surging forward, making it harder for members in the crowd to breathe, especially for those in the front. Numerous concertgoers shared that multiple people began passing out in the front rows once Scott began his performance, due to them getting squeezed and pushed around.

About thirty minutes after the show started, officials finally began receiving the first reports of people becoming injured inside the crowd, and police immediately notified the festival’s producers. However, not even ten minutes later, the police officially declared that the festival had turned into a “mass casualty event” as people began passing away. Reports of unconscious bodies being carried out of the crowd by “crowd surfing” began to spread on social media, while others were criticizing the organizers and the artists for not stopping the show to help the people who were in trouble.

Later, the footage was shared from the concert’s own live stream, showing Scott stopping the performance for a minute while looking confusedly toward the crowd. In the same footage, an ambulance was trying to move between the crowd while Scott continued to sing and finish the concert. According to some concertgoers, Scott had stopped the show three times to ask for help for people in the crowd, but according to a later statement from Scott himself, he was unaware of the size of the disaster underway.

A few days after the festival, about 18 lawsuits relating to Astroworld were filed in Texas’ Harris County District Court, naming Travis Scott, the event organizer Live Nation Entertainment and fellow musician Drake, as defendants. Scott has shared that he’s willing to help anyone who suffered due to the festival and will contribute towards any funeral expenses for those killed in the chaos. Scott also took a personal vow to help anyone that was affected by what happened during his show.

The situation was grave and extremely unfortunate. There was plenty of evidence shared across social media platforms that numerous people were notified about the state of the crowd by other concertgoers. The late response is the least those involved could do after such a tragedy.


Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading crisis PR agency.