Houston Astroworld music festival investigated as rappers sued for tragedy


Investigators are working to determine how eight people died in a fan crash at a Houston music festival, as spectators recounted the horror and confusion of being trapped in the crowd and mourning the dead.

It comes amid reports that rappers Travis Scott and Drake are being sued for over a million dollars by a man who claims he was “seriously injured” in the crowd.

According to the Daily Mail, Kristian Paredes, 23, of Austin, Texas, filed a lawsuit, saying Drake “took the stage alongside Travis Scott and helped get the crowd excited.” Paredes would accuse the rappers, Live Nation Entertainment and Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation of negligence.

Fox News in the United States reported that Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry filed a lawsuit yesterday (Sunday) against Scott, real name Jacques Bermon Webster, as well as Drake, real name Aubrey Drake Graham.

Fox also reported that a separate lawsuit was filed on Saturday on behalf of concert attendee Manuel Souza and lists Scott as a defendant. The channel added: “A third lawsuit, filed on behalf of Noah Gutierrez, 21, by attorney Ben Crump, was also announced on Sunday.”

On a video posted to social media, Scott could be seen stopping the gig at one point and asking for help from someone in the audience: “Security, someone is helping real quick.”

In a tweet posted on Saturday, he said he was “absolutely devastated by what happened”, and pledged to work “with the Houston community to care for and support families in need.”

Fox News reported that the artist said he usually tries to take care of people in crowds when he notices someone might be in distress.

Authorities plan to use videos, witness interviews and a review of concert proceedings to find out what went wrong on Friday night during a performance by rapper Travis Scott.

Tragedy unfolded when crowds rushed onto the stage, hugging people so hard they couldn’t breathe.

Billy Nasser, 24, who had traveled from Indianapolis to attend the concert, said about 15 minutes after Scott started filming, things got “really crazy” and people started crashing into each other. others. He said he was “picking up people and trying to drag them outside”.

Nasser said he found a spectator on the ground, adding: “I picked him up. People were stepping on him. People were like stomping, and I lifted her head and looked at her eyes, and her eyes were just white, rolled up to the back of her head.

Over the weekend, a makeshift memorial of flowers, candles, condolence notes and t-shirts took shape at NRG Park.

Michael Suarez, 26, visited the growing memorial after attending the concert.

“No one wants to see or hear people die at a festival,” he said. “We were here to have a good time – a good time – and it’s devastating to hear that someone has lost their life.”

Travis Scott on stage

The dead, according to friends and family, included a 14-year-old high school student, a 16-year-old girl who loved to dance and a 21-year-old engineering student at the University of Dayton. The youngest was 14 and the oldest 27.

Thirteen people remained in the hospital yesterday (Sunday), but their condition was not disclosed. More than 300 were treated in a field hospital during the concert.

City officials said they were in the early stages of investigating what caused chaos at the sold-out Astroworld festival, an event founded by Scott, which brought together around 50,000 people.

Authorities said that among other things they would examine how the area around the stage was designed.

Steven Adelman, vice president of the industry group Event Safety Alliance, which was formed after a scene collapsed at the Indiana State Fair in 2011 killed seven people, helped write the widely used industry guidelines today.

He said investigators will look at the design of the security barriers and whether they properly directed the crowds or contributed to the crushing of spectators. He said authorities would look into whether anything prompted the crowd besides Scott to take the stage.

Mr Adelman said another question was whether there were enough security personnel there, noting that there was a nationwide shortage of people willing to accept security missions at part-time and low-wage.

“Security obviously couldn’t stop people. Optically, it’s really bad, ”he said. “But as to what he’s telling us, it’s too early to tell.”

Houston Police and Fire officials said their investigation will include examining a video taken by concert promoter Live Nation, as well as dozens of clips of people at the show.

Officials also plan to review the event’s security plan and permits issued to organizers to see if they were properly followed during the event.

In addition, investigators planned to speak with representatives of Live Nation, Scott and those present at the concert.

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Gerald R. Schneider

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