A crowd safety expert says the surge at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival wasn't concertgoers' fault

Travis Scott performs at the 2021 Astroworld Festival, NRG Park, November 5, 2021 in Houston. Erika Goldring/WireImage/via Getty Images
A crowd safety expert stated that the chaos at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival was preventable.

During the Houston event's first night, at least eight people were killed and many more were injured.

According to the expert, organizers allowed people to flood into a "known area of danger" right in front of their stage.

An expert in crowd safety said that organizers were responsible for Friday's crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, which resulted in eight deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Paul Wertheimer, founder of Crowd Management Services, said that the deadly surge was "a avoidable disaster."

Wertheimer, a specialist in festivals and concerts, stated that the victims were the people in the crowd.

Officials in Houston said that among the dead were a 14-year old and a 16 year-old. The young crowd was not balanced - the oldest person to be reported as dead was only 27 years old. Five minors were also hospitalized for injuries.

Officials estimate that around 50,000 people attended the event. At a press conference, Samuel Pea, Chief of Houston Fire, stated that the crowd began to "compress towards the front stage, and this caused some panic" shortly after 9:30 pm.

Wertheimer stated to Insider that organizers failed to manage the crowds properly that night. He said that concertgoers assume that organizers have taken adequate safety precautions, and Astroworld attendees continued to march towards the stage.

People want to be there where the artists are performing, so they move forward. Wertheimer stated that if the crowd isn't managed, people will be crushed. "Organizers allowed the event's overcrowding in front of the stage, which is known to be a danger zone."

Insider reached Astroworld Festival but they did not respond immediately to our request for comment.

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"They are taught to accept responsibility for the events that happen, even if it is not their fault."

Houston's police chief said Saturday night that his department opened a criminal investigation into this deadly incident, and that both the homicide division and the narcotics section are currently investigating.

Wertheimer stated that deadly crowd-related incidents often don't result in criminal prosecution. In fact, Friday's crowd surge was not the first time that concertgoers were hurt at Astroworld. At least three people were admitted to hospital in 2019 after they were trampled as they tried to enter the festival.

Travis Scott, whose real name was Jacques Webster, was also arrested in 2015 for encouraging Lollapalooza fans to jump over barricades. This popular music festival is held in Chicago, Illinois.

Wertheimer stated that one of the reasons these catastrophes continue to happen is because no one has been held criminally responsible. Young people are the only ones who are being exploited, Wertheimer said. They are often taught to feel guilty for the events that occur, even though they weren't responsible.

Travis Scott performs live on stage at the third annual Astroworld Festival, NRG Park, November 05th, 2021, Houston, Texas. Rick Kern/Getty Images

Wertheimer suggested that Scott be held responsible for safety at concerts.

"Nobody wants anyone to die at a concert. But people create an environment where people can die." Wertheimer stated that artists are also responsible for creating an environment in which people can die.

On Saturday, the "Yosemite” rapper released a statement saying that he was "absolutely devastated" and is "committed to working with the Houston community in order to heal and support those in need."

Astroworld organizers shared similar sentiments and said that they were "focused to support local officials." The organizers cancelled Saturday's event.

The footage shows people running through the VIP entrance to the park, while others dance on top of ambulances in the middle. Twitter posted a disturbing video showing an unconscious person being taken to the hospital by medics.

Madeline Eskins was an ICU nurse and attended the event. She said that she helped other patients when she fell asleep and woke up in a medical treatment zone. Insider heard from her that the medics didn't know what she should do. Others at the festival reported that they were struggling to breathe and that security and crew ignored their pleas for help.

Jennifer Hernandez, a participant at the event, said that she felt like she was in a panic attack. Her heart rate was fast and my chest was tightening up. Joshua Zitser asked Jennifer about her experience. It got really bad. The people were just squished up. There was no air."

Insider has the original article.