Astroworld 2021's first night ended in absolute tragedy on Friday night. At least eight people are dead and dozens more are hospitalized after Travis Scott's set at his Houston, Texas-based music festival, which was held at NRG Park. While official causes of death have not been released, they're believed to be casualties of trampling and cardiac events that occurred due to intense crowd surging and rushing towards the stage. The festival is organized by Scott and Live Nation, and its sponsors include Levi's, Verizon, Raising Cane's and Nike's Jordan brand. Apple Music livestreamed Scott's set.
Videos from the first night of the two-day festival show absolute chaos. After the day began with attendees rushing the gate and bypassing security to gain entry, the crowd of an estimated 50,000 packed into Astroworld's mains stage to see Scott — whose concerts are notoriously rowdy — perform. Videos shared to Twitter — which we are not embedding out of respect to victims — show medical personnel attempting to revive victims near Scott's stage, surrounded by swarms of concertgoers. Authorities struggled to get through the dense crowd, which featured many who refused to yield to medical personnel. Other clips show attendees trying to alert stage production members and fellow attendees of the people in need of medical attention, but to no avail.
UPDATE AS OF 0745 am: If you have not been able to contact your loved one who attended #ASTROWORLDFest please call 3-1-1 or 713-837-0311 or go to the reunification center at 8686 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77054.— Houston OEM (@HoustonOEM) November 6, 2021
While the festival's first night was apparently ended early as a result of the medical events, it was clearly not soon enough. Scott's performance continued as numerous alarming situations were occurring in the crowd. One video shows the "SICKO MODE" and "goosebumps" rapper overlooking the crowd on a raised pedestal as authorities struggle to help an attendee. While there was at least one moment where Scott drew attention to a fan in need, he went right back to performing afterward. At one point, a medical response vehicle even entered the crowd. Scott and guest artist Drake continued to perform, even as a concertgoer climbed on top of the vehicle. Scott's girlfriend, Kylie Jenner, even carelessly documented the scene on her Instagram Story as the vehicle entered the crowd. The Astroworld festival's official account also celebrated Drake's appearance, despite the scene unfolding around the stage.
"This is a tragic night. We know that we had we had 8…at least 8 confirmed fatalities tonight," Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said, per KHOU. "The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage…and it started causing some injuries…people began to fall out and become unconscious."
There was a terrible tragedy tonight with 8 deaths & 300+ injuries at Astroworld at NRG Park. Right now, please spread the word: we’ve established a reunification center at Wyndham Houston at 8686 Kirby for anyone looking for missing #AstroWorld attendees. Investigation ongoing. https://t.co/9eG1dvZrBe— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) November 6, 2021
Astroworld has issued a statement offering condolences and canceling Day 2 of the festival. However, they are catching flack for seemingly dismissing the situation as a "series of cardiac events" that police are investigating. Scott has not personally issued a statement on the tragedy, with many questioning his choice to continue performing amidst the chaotic crowd conditions. Those missing loved ones who attended Astroworld are told to call 3-1-1 or 713-837-0311. There is also a reunification center at Wyndham Houston - Medical Center Hotel & Suites, located at 8686 Kirby Drive in Houston.