ASTROWORLD LAWSUIT ATTORNEY IN HOUSTON
Astroworld Lawsuit Attorney in Houston, TX
Tragedy struck over the weekend of November 5th, 2021 in our hometown of Houston, TX. Chaos unfolded in the middle of approximately 50,000 concert-goers as they awaited the beginning of rapper Travis Scott’s performance at the Astroworld Festival. A timer counted down the minutes until the beginning of Scott’s performance, resulting in an increasingly restless and panicked crowd. The ensuing crowd surge resulted in the loss of 8 lives, and countless injuries.
This horrific event marks the latest in the deadly history of crowd surges related to music and sporting events. But what leads to these casualties? Who is responsible? At Reich & Binstock, we feel a personal connection to those involved in the incident, as we hail from the great city of Houston. This tragedy must not go unpunished, and we must hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions. Among the defendants current suits have listed are Live Nation, Travis Scott, and rapper Drake.
Reich & Binstock stands ready to file an Astroworld lawsuit on behalf of any and all individuals who suffered injuries due to the negligence and gross negligence displayed at Astroworld. If you suffered injuries at the Astroworld Festival, our Houston personal injury attorneys are here to fight for your right to both compensation and justice. Those who suffered cannot and will not be left behind. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with us, please call 713-622-7271. You can also fill out our online intake form.
What Happened at Astroworld 2021?
The crowd surge at Astroworld 2021 is still under investigation. What we do know is that the crowd of around 50,000 people surged toward the stage that Travis Scott would perform on. This surge resulted in people crashing against each other, unable to remove themselves from the middle of the chaos. Crushing, trampling, and mosh pits broke out in nearly every direction and part of the crowd shortly after Scott’s set began.
Even before the performance began, the crowd was restless. As the visible timer counted down, many event-goers reported feeling increasingly squeezed and crushed by the crowd surrounding them. Once the show began, many reported seeing other people pass out or scream in fear for their lives. The front of the crowd became so compressed that many could not move, let alone breathe.
Unfortunately, this was not the only crowd surge at the festival that same day. Hours earlier, a crowd surged through the VIP entrance gates, resulting in at least one injury. Although the Astroworld Festival was supposed to be a two-day event, it was cut short by the surging crowd.
History of the Astroworld Festival
Held at the site of the former Six Flags AstroWorld, the festival gets its name from that very park, which Travis Scott once loved as a Houston native. He also released a studio album under the same title, Astroworld. The first Astroworld Festival launched in 2018, with a lineup jam-packed with heavy-hitting hip hop artists.
The festival returned in 2019 with an expanded lineup, as well as an expanded attendance. Unfortunately, Astroworld is no stranger to preventable injuries. During this iteration of the festival, at least three people suffered trampling injuries due to crowd surging and rushing to enter the festival.
The 2020 Astroworld Festival was cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Rather, the event was essentially replaced by a virtual concert in a popular online game Fortnite Battle Royale. It was more or less a 15-minute visual presentation of visuals and vocals inspired by the Astroworld album.
2021 saw even more expansion of the festival, as it was slated to be a two-night event rather than a one-night event. Ticket sales doubled from the year before, despite being held in the same location. The first incident occurred in the early hours of the festival on its first day. Attendees rushed a VIP entrance to the grounds, trampling those in their path, rushing past security, and even knocking down security controls. This instance saw at least one injury.
That night, the deadly crowd surge took place. According to Houston City and Harris County officials, at least 8 people have tragically died. Those who died ranged in age from 14 to 27. At least 11 people went into cardiac arrest. More than 300 people received medical treatment at the on-site medical facility after the crushing incident. One of the injured event-goers was just 10 years old, and in critical condition. The events of November 5th led to the festival’s second night being canceled.
What Is a Crowd Surge?
It’s important to distinguish between a crowd surge and a stampede. Reporters of the event do not refer to it as a stampede, as this implies that those in the crowd are to blame for what happened. Merriam-Webster defines a stampede as a mass movement of people at a common impulse. However, a crowd surge is a quick or sudden movement of a large number of people. When people push forward in these situations, many become trapped and unable to escape the throng of people.
Those involved in a crowd surge often find themselves unable to move or even breathe due to the force exerted on them by others. Lack of oxygen and space to move around result in people passing out, then collapsing into the crowd. This often leads to catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death.
Those at the front of the crowd try to push backward into safety while those at the back of the crowd push forward, unaware of the injuries already occurring. Opposing forces in this situation leave many people unable to breathe, and cause a panic. Panics lead to trampling, which leads to severe injuries. No matter which way you slice it, crowd surges are extremely dangerous.
Where Do Crowd Surges Happen?
Unfortunately, large crowds and events are no stranger to crowd surges. However, their commonality makes them no less deadly. Sporting events and concerts are notorious for deadly crowd surges. For example, a 1979 concert for The Who involved a crowd surge which killed 11 people and injured many others.
In 1989, a crowd surge occurred in England because of a highly-anticipated sporting event. The crowd surge at the Hillsborough Stadium left nearly 100 people dead, and over 700 injured. While no event can guarantee absolute safety, it is entirely possible to ensure a safer environment for guests. Event planners, security, organizers, and even performers have a certain duty of care to those who attend these events. When they fail to take precautions in the name of safety, tragedy strikes.
Why Do Crowd Surges Happen?
Event designs play a large role in how these terrible events occur. An important aspect of event design involves ensuring that the density of the crowd does not exceed what is deemed acceptable by the Fire Marshall and related government agencies. This generally means that there must be enough space for people to move around safely.
Exceeding safe crowd density limits isn’t the only cause for crowd surges. Sudden weather changes often cause people to run for cover, which sometimes results in a crowd surge. In the United States, one other cause is someone shouting something that causes a panic. They might shout about a fire or that someone has a firearm.
In cases like Astroworld 2021 and The Who concert in 1979, the crowd surged toward the stage rather than away from it. In these cases, they eventually hit a barrier between the crowd and the stage, which then leads to crushing. Poor crowd management on the part of the event organizers plays a large role in these surges. Many events have procedures and structures in place to break up large crowds or to warn of impending issues. Astroworld 2021 did not have these procedures or structures in place.
What Went Wrong at Astroworld 2021?
The first sign of trouble happened very early on in the Astroworld Festival. In fact, many report that it began with trouble. Crowds of people surged upon not only the entrance gates, but also merchandise tables and booths, leading to at least one injury already. Behaviors at the festival grew increasingly unruly the closer it was to the beginning of Travis Scott’s set. Shortly after 10 PM, the festival came to an early end, only after people started dying.
The exact causes of the crowd surge, the injuries, and the deaths are forthcoming. Houston authorities are currently investigating all available footage, eyewitness accounts, and concert protocols to determine how those deaths and injuries occurred.
The spotlight now shines not only on Travis Scott and Drake, but also upon Live Nation, the producer of the Astroworld Festival 2021. The company has an unfortunate and telling history of both safety violations and lawsuits. They have repeatedly displayed unsafe conditions at their concerts and events, which ultimately led to injuries and now deaths.
Both federal agencies and individual lawsuits have called out the company for its lack of adherence to safety standards. In fact, reports from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) state that Live Nation Worldwide and Live Nation Entertainment have received fines and citations for no less than 10 violations from 2016 to 2019.
Travis Scott’s Unruly Reputation
Pop culture currently remembers Scott most fondly for his hit single “Sicko Mode” from his Astroworld album. However, his fans know him to be a high-energy performer with, frankly, chaotic shows and performances. During many of these events, he encourages attendees to participate in mosh pits, crowd surfing, and even stage diving. Other accounts recall Scott telling his audience to rush the stage or run past security. These are all highly dangerous activities.
Reports of Astroworld Festival 2021 indicate that Scott only stopped performing after he noticed an ambulance making its way into the crowd. Shortly thereafter, he resumed his performance. Although he shared his condolences to those impacted by the event on Twitter, he has not issued any form of apology at this time.
Kylie Jenner Astroworld Response
Travis Scott’s partner Kylie Jenner, a big name in popular culture, has also addressed the incidents at Astroworld. She states her condolences for those injured or “affected,” as she says, by the events. The Kylie Jenner Astroworld response on social media tells us little about the incident itself.
Contact an Astroworld Lawsuit Attorney Today
It is entirely possible to have fun in a safe environment. Safe, enjoyable events and concerts happen all the time. Strictly adhering to safety protocols and monitoring events with proper staffing is essential to the health and safety of attendees. When event organizers, producers, and performers ignore their duty of care to these attendees, they exhibit gross negligence. This cannot be tolerated. The events of the Astroworld Festival 2021 were completely preventable.
If you or someone you know suffered injuries, emotional distress, or lost a loved one due to this event, Reich & Binstock are here for you. As Houston natives, we care deeply for those affected by this tragedy. To speak with an aggressive, compassionate attorney who will fight for your right to compensation, contact us today. Call 713-622-7271 or fill out our online intake form today.