- 25 Nov 21
There was only 1.85 square feet of available space for each person in one area of the crowd, according to analysis from experts.
A new report claims that 7 of the victims of the Astroworld tragedy were standing in the same small and overcrowded area of the festival.
10 people were killed and hundreds injured following the fatal crowd surge during Travis Scott's headline set at the Astroworld festival on November 5th.
A report by The Washington Post, based on eyewitness interviews and analysis of dozens of videos of the event, says that the deadly crowd surge was focused on one particular area in the south quadrant of the crowd, which was enclosed by metal barriers on three sides and where much of the push from concertgoers, arriving for Scott's headline set from other parts of the festival, seems to have been concentrated.
The analysis by crowd experts at Carnegie Mellon University showed that there were as little as 1.85 square feet per person in the crowd. At that density, a crowd is at a dangerously high risk of collapsing in on itself, two of the crowd science experts said. They also pointed to the rigid layout of the barriers which prevented concert organisers from cutting off the flow of people surging toward the stage, and gave those inside the section little ability to exit the area as it became more and more congested.
"In general, that’s not a safe design because you can’t regulate the number of people who are in a high-pressure area," said Keith Still, a visiting professor at the University of Suffolk who specializes in crowd safety and crowd risk analysis, was quoted as saying in the piece.
Multiple separate lawsuits have now been brought against Scott, the festival organisers and other parties, including organisers Live Nation and fellow artist Drake, who performed with the rapper just before the crowd surge. Attorney Thomas J. Henry last week filed a $2billion lawsuit over the incident on behalf of 282 people who hired him for legal representation, and another suit was filed just days before by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, seeking $750million on behalf of 125 clients.
Allegations of improper crowd control, failure to provide proper medical attention, and accusing organisers of putting profits over the safety of festival goers, are among some of the accusations in the suits.
"My clients want to ensure the defendants are held responsible for their actions, and they want to send the message to all performers, event organizers, and promoters that what happened at Astroworld cannot happen again," Henry commented in a statement.
Scott has offered a number of apologies across social media, and has offered to pay the funeral costs for all victims.