Astroworld planning documents to probed after deadly Travis Scott show

0
39
Astroworld planning documents to probed after deadly Travis Scott show

The tragic deaths of eight people at a concert in Houston Friday night recalled past tragedies, including a 1979 concert by The Who in Cincinnati that led to reforms on how such events are planned and carried out.

More than 300 people were injured in the mayhem at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, held in Houston’s NRG Park.

City officials said they would review the planning documents submitted by the promoter, Live Nation, and the stadium leading up to the event.

Such plans became routine after prior incidents at events drawing large crowds, in particular the 1979 concert by The Who in Cincinnati where 11 people were killed, said Glenn Corbett, a professor of fire science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former assistant fire chief in Waldwick, NJ.

The Who fans were crushed as the crowd surged toward the stage, similar to what caused at least some of the injuries at Scott’s concert.

Like the Astroworld show, the British rockers were performing to a general admission crowd.

Travis Scott performs at Day 1 of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park.
Travis Scott performs at Day 1 of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park.
Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Also known as “festival seating,” that means the crowd was packed together without assigned seats, a scenario that makes it easier for people to surge forward toward the stage, while the people closer to the performers have nowhere to go.

“The concentration of people gets greater until you literally cannot move,” Corbett said. “The crowd moves you.”

A crushing incident also happened at a City College concert in 1991, when nine died and dozens were injured at a charity basketball game and concert featuring rappers Sean “Puffy” Combs and Heavy D.

In this Dec. 3, 1979, file photo, two concertgoers and a policeman stand near a pile of shoes and clothes that were left after a crowd surged toward doors to Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum to get into a concert by the British rock ban The Who.
Two concertgoers and a policeman stand near a pile of shoes and clothes left after a crowd surged toward doors to Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum to get into a concert by The Who in December 1979.
Brian Horton, File/AP
Flowers lie against the south fence surrounding the Astroworld festival grounds as festival attendants, from left, Andrew Diaz, Brandon Beauval, Joshua Robinson and Billy Nasser walk by
Flowers lie against the south fence surrounding the Astroworld festival grounds as festival attendants Andrew Diaz, Brandon Beauval, Joshua Robinson and Billy Nasser walk by.
Michael Wyke/AP
 In this file photo taken Dec. 3, 1979, Cincinnati Police and rescue workers attend to two bodies of people crushed to death outside the fateful The Who concert at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Cincinnati Police and rescue workers attend to two bodies of people crushed to death outside The Who’s fateful concert on Dec. 3, 1979 at Riverfront Coliseum.
Ed Reinke/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said the investigation is also looking at the potential that some of the victims were stuck with a needle carrying a mystery drug.

Nevertheless, the probe will look at all aspects of the planning and execution of the festival, County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s top elected official, said Saturday.

The documents would outline the plans for emergency and medical response and other elements for controlling the crowd, Corbett said.

Houston police stand outside the Wyndham Hotel where they posted a staging area for people looking for family and friends after the concert at Astroworld on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.
Houston police stand outside the Wyndham Hotel where they posted a staging area for people looking for family and friends after Astroworld on Nov. 6, 2021.
Michael Wyke/AP

The Houston Chronicle reported that the producer, Live Nation, has a history of health and safety violations at venues across the country, and was sued by a concertgoer who broke her leg during a stampede at an outdoor Gwen Stefani concert in North Carolina in 2016.

“This is not an unheard of situation,” Corbett said. “There’s a whole science and industry, if you want to call it that, around crowd safety.”

Source link