Thousands of concert attendees were left reeling after a tragedy at Travis Scott's Astroworld performance left eight dead and hundreds more wounded in a crowd frenzy in Houston on Friday night.
Scott's third annual Astroworld festival was canceled a night early after the deadly crowd surge.
Those at the concert told horrific tales of unconscious bodies falling on top of one another, screams for help and teenagers desperately performing CPR on passed-out concertgoers. Austin resident Kathryn Alonzo said the crowd was already suffocating just a few minutes into the performance.
"I only lasted about 10 minutes into his set until I decided that I need to get out," Alonzo said. "The crowd was swaying so bad that I almost lost my footing multiple times and it was getting hard for me to breathe. It was so scary."
Alonzo said her friends who stayed in the crowd had an even more life-threatening experience.
"When I finally reunited with my group, my friend told us that he saw two people die in front of him and no one tried to help him as he was trying to give one of the people CPR," Alonzo said.
There were tales of desperate heroism—former Marine Lucas Naccarati told CNN he administered CPR to two passed out concertgoers and said he'd "never seen a mass amount of bodies dropping that fast before." Texas A&M student Seanna Faith said in a viral Instagram post that she saw passed out attendees fall on top of one another and nearly fell herself before she was pulled up and climbed aboard a platform to ask a nearby cameraman to stop the show.
Many described the scene as "demonic" and "evil." Faith, who was captured on video pleading with the cameraman, said the man ignored the interaction even as she pushed the camera towards those who were dying. Faith said another man threatened to push her off the platform as the crowd began to boo at her.
"Stop the show" and the staff did nothing. This shit is fucking heartbreaking #AstroWorld vc:@JanthonyOliverapic.twitter.com/5vVZKLKV7h
— Ashmely🇩🇴 (@Ashmelym) November 6, 2021
Other videos, including those depicting fans dancing on top of an ambulance and security golf carts reveal a chilling scene as the concert continued on.
Scott and Astroworld organizer Live Nation, which is also a majority owner of Austin City Limits' C3 Presents, have released statements after the Friday night tragedy.
But many say that's not enough. Although Scott reportedly stopped the concert for around 20 seconds to acknowledge that someone needed an ambulance, the Houston rapper also reportedly told the crowd he wanted to "make the ground shake" after two men spoke to him on stage.
"You know what you came here for," Scott said on video.
In another viral video, Scott apparently watched and continued to sing as an unconscious person was carried out of the crowd.
Footage captured at Astroworld in Houston during Travis Scott's concert shows Travis @trvisXX singing directly over a lifeless body that's being carried away by a medic crew while he continued performing. #ASTROFEST#ASTROWORLDFest#astroworldfestival#AstroWorld#TravisScottpic.twitter.com/p8wTmk0Rzi
— Βƌβƌβơ⊔⟟ℓℓ⋲ (@WulfMunkey) November 6, 2021
Others, including Alonzo, say poor security also attributed to the deaths. Earlier in the day, hundreds stormed the VIP security checkpoint, leaving some injured. It proved to be grim foreshadowing for what was to come.
As we were arriving to the Astroworld Festival at NRG Park right at 2:00, a stampede burst through the gates. Hundreds of people destroyed the VIP security entrance, bypassing the checkpoint. People were trampled. Some were detained.
(Excuse any language you may hear) pic.twitter.com/d0m2rjqAAk
— Mycah Hatfield (@MycahABC13) November 5, 2021
According to Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, seven of the eight victims varied from ages 14 to 27, with one of the victim's ages not yet known. At least 300 others were treated in a field hospital nearby. Twenty-five attendees were later taken to the hospital and 13 are still receiving treatment. Five of those currently in the hospital are under the age of 18.
But for those who left injured or worse, Turner said an investigation is ongoing to see what went wrong.
"We'll continue to talk to Travis Scott's people," the Houston mayor said. "We'll talk to as many witnesses as we can who were present last night. We're talking with those individuals who have been hospitalized to try to get a much better understanding of what took place, what went wrong, where were the missteps."
Alonzo told Austonia she and her friends are shaken but unscathed and hopes that Scott and concert organizers learn from the incident.
"I just hope that when and if Travis Scott decides to play another concert that he encourages his fans to be more considerate and helpful of each other," Alonzo said. "This rager culture that he promotes has gone too far."
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Despite a 2-0 deficit, there was a pot of gold for Austin FC after all as it celebrated its annual Pride Night with rainbows and a 2-2 comeback draw to FC Dallas Saturday night.
After three FC Dallas losses last season, the Dallas derby draw marks the first time Austin FC has tied against its Copa Texas rival. Austin continues to edge over FC Dallas as it sits at 3rd in the MLS West.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the match:
A somber start
Decked out in colorful hues for LBGTQ+ Pride, Verde fans started the match on a somber note as they held up banners to take a stand against gun violence before the match.
As the national anthem began, fans held up banners with the names of each child that was killed in the Uvalde school shooting and a plea to "end gun violence."
The supporters' section was also dotted with Pride flags and a "Bans off Our Bodies" banner in protest of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
FC Dallas earns a 2-0 lead
That sober tone continued onto the pitch. With midfielder Daniel Pereira's absence due to a red card, the Verde and Black lost two goals to FC Dallas by the 70th minute of play.
FC Dallas played it sneaky for the first half of the match, giving Austin FC plenty of room to hold possession as it waited to strike on a Verde error. That mentality proved dangerous for Austin as Dallas' Paul Arriola took advantage of Brad Stuver's deflection to score the first goal of the night in the 57th minute of play.
Dallas struck once more as Brandon Servant pushed past the Verde line to score the second goal of the match.
Austin FC strikes back
But energy quickly returned to Austin's favor thanks to Designated Player Sebastian Driussi, who scooted past several FC Dallas defenders alongside Moussa Djitte to snag an unlikely first goal for Austin.
A full Verde comeback
Austin's subs proved deadly as momentum returned to the home team toward the end of the match. A well-placed cross from Nick Lima—and a diving header from a fresh-legged Danny Hoesen—helped the team secure the draw with a second Verde goal in the 84th minute of play.
Hoesen, who was Austin's first starting striker last season, has now scored two goals with the team after a yearlong injury stuck him on the bench.
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Hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday, about 1,000 people gathered in Republic Square with signs calling for change.
The rally, organized by the group Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Texas, started at the federal courthouse on Republic Square on Friday at 5 p.m. before the crowd marched to the Texas Capitol. More protests are expected to ensue over the weekend.
People showed up with all types of signs like Mindy Moffa holding up, "Keep your filthy laws off my silky drawers."
Austin joined cities across the country that saw protests for a women's right to an abortion after the ruling.
According to a recent UT poll, 78% of Texas voters support abortion access in most cases.
Sabrina Talghade and Sofia Pellegrini held up signs directed at Texas laws. A Texas trigger law will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization, starting 30 days after the ruling. When state legislators passed the trigger law last summer, it also passed laws for more protection of firearms, including the right to open carry without a permit.
Lili Enthal of Austin yells as around 1,000 Texans marched to the Texas Capitol.
From the Texas Capitol, Zoe Webb lets her voice be heard against the Supreme Court ruling.
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