In 2021, 10 people were crushed to death at Astroworld. The victims' families still want answers.

On November 7, 2021, a disaster occurred at a concert in Houston, Texas, leaving ten people dead.

It all went down at the Astroworld Festival, headlined by rapper Travis Scott, who was performing at the time when the crowd surge took place. 

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said the crowd pushed toward the stage around 9:15pm Friday (local time) while Scott was performing on stage. Minutes later, the chaos was declared a "mass casualty incident."

An investigation was launched by both federal officials and Houston police, to uncover whether Scott or the organisers behind the festival implemented adequate safety measures for the event.

Now a judgement has been handed down in court this week, clearing Scott and the festival organisers of facing any criminal charges, leaving the victims' families still desperate for answers.

Watch: Astroworld disaster explained. Post continues below.

Video via ABC News.

At the time that the crowd surge took place, it appeared that Scott and rapper Drake - who was there to do a brief music set with Scott - both continued performing.

Scott later said the tragedy had left him "devastated", and at that moment he hadn't realised how severe the situation was until he left the stage. 


Houston's fire chief stated that Scott should have halted the show much earlier.

By the time the performance was finished, the damage had been done.

The victims of the Astroworld disaster were between the ages of nine and 27. The official cause of death for these people was compression asphyxia, which an expert likened to being crushed by a car.

They include Ezra Blount (nine), John Hilgert (14), Brianna Rodriguez (16), Jacob Jurinek (20), Franco Patiño (21), Axel Acosta (21), Rudy Peña (23), Madison Dubiski (23), Danish Baig (27), and Bharti Shahani (22).

Nine-year-old Ezra Blount was initially left in a medically induced coma after attending the festival with his father, before sadly passing away from his injuries. 

Treston Blount was carrying his son, when he began to be "crushed" and passed out. When he woke up, his son was nowhere to be found.

Texas student Bharti Shahani went to the event with her sister and cousin who survived and said the barricades essentially trapped festival-goers and stopped them from being able to escape.

"If they hadn't packed us in with barriers on all three sides, maybe this wouldn't have happened," Bharti's cousin said. "Having more security, having exits. A lot of things that could have prevented that. It's really no excuse for it. It's a lot of disappointment because it could have been prevented."

21-year-old Axel Acosta had travelled by himself from Washington to see Scott take the stage. He was at the event alone. It was his first time going to a concert like that, his aunt said. 


There were also many people left injured as well, roughly 300 people were injured and treated at the scene, and 25 were taken to hospitals. Following the incident, thousands of plaintiffs came forward, asking for what tallied to be billions of dollars in potential damages.

As per Rolling Stone, those who came forward with claims cited several allegations including poor planning from festival organisers and a lack of security as contributing to the crowd rush.

A tribute to the Astroworld victims. Image: Getty.


The crowd at the Astroworld concert in 2021 before things went wrong. Image: Getty.

Some of the plaintiffs also cited former lyrics from one of Scott's songs called 'Stargazing'. In retrospect, the lyrics left a bad taste in the mouth of many. 

He raps: "It ain't no mosh pit if ain't no injuries, I got 'em stage divin' out the nosebleeds." 


This week, Scott and five others avoided criminal charges over the music festival crowd crush.

The Texas grand jury's decision not to indict Scott and others was the culmination of a 19-month investigation into the tragedy.

"The grand jury found that no crime did occur, that no single individual was criminally responsible," The Harris County District Attorney said. 

Scott's lawyer Kent Schaffer said the findings confirmed Scott was not responsible for the tragedy.

"He never encouraged people to do anything that resulted in other people being hurt," Schaffer said, adding the decision is "a great relief".

Five others, including Live Nation's festival manager, were also cleared.

The family of one of the people killed settled on undisclosed terms with Scott, Live Nation and others in October 2022. Other lawsuits remain pending, including a case brought by the family of the nine-year-old boy who was killed.

For Rudy Peña's mother, she told The Independent that she visits her son's grave every day.

"There is no longer any colour or happiness in my life. There is nothing like losing a child, it's the strongest pain there is," she said. "We just want justice so that no other mothers have to go through what we've experienced. They left a very large hole in our lives. Something that should have never happened."

Feature Image: Getty.

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