At least seven of the 10 dead after Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival were clustered in a small area enclosed on three sides by metal barriers that became dangerously crowded, according to a Washington Post investigation. The review — based on dozens of videos examined for when and where each was taken, interviews with witnesses, and an analysis by crowd experts — reveals how a crowd surge at a performance by Scott turned one pocket of the audience into an epicenter of chaos and distress.
Ten fans at the Nov. 5 concert in Houston died and dozens more were injured, making it one of the most deadly concerts in the nation’s history. The Post found that most of those who died were close to each other in the viewing area’s south quadrant, where witnesses described people collapsing under the pressure of the crowd. Three concertgoers who died appeared unconscious in a pile of other fallen fans in the south quadrant only 16 minutes into the show, according to a video reviewed by The Post. The concert continued for nearly another hour. In parts of the tightly compressed area where many of the dead were concentrated, there were as little as 1.85 square feet per person, according to an analysis done by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University for The Post. At that density, people are amid a crowd that is at risk of dangerously collapsing in on itself, two crowd science experts said.
The Post’s reconstruction of the night’s events, including details evident in exclusively obtained videos, also underscores unanswered questions about how long the concert was allowed to continue after fans already were pleading for help and receiving emergency care. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: https://wapo.st/2QOdcqK