Astroworld’s music festival was a chaotic riot on Friday night when at least eight concertgoers died and hundreds more were injured in a dangerous crowd crush during Travis Scott’s performance in his native Houston.

These were the people who perished, with ages ranging from 14 to 27. the crowd of 50,000 who were tightly squeezed together at NRG ParkThe venue is in a very dangerous situation with no security or medical assistance.

Still, authorities continue to search for answers what specifically caused the crushThat night was a terrible one. Instead of placing blame on drugs and music, safety experts point to another issue that could affect the likelihood of an incident like Astroworld: Crowd management.

“Just being prepared. … It’s a horrible disaster, catastrophe, but not totally surprising. What went wrong? As a society we, I suppose. Where did we go wrong and not try to prevent that?” Jim Narva, executive director of the National Association of State Fire Marshals, told HuffPost. “We have to take prevention seriously, and lives will be saved.

“This isn’t the first event in a music venue, you know, we’ve had the Station Nightclub fire back in ’03. It was the scene of a hundred deaths. The people entered a door and saw fireworks. Once inside, it was lit up, so they attempted to exit the door. People were wedged into that door and couldn’t get out and died,” he added. “But a crowd manager or crowd managers could have helped direct people. Somebody has to know what’s going on in that facility or that venue when things go wrong so they can help people get out. That’s the whole idea.”

After a fire in February that claimed 100 lives and wounded more than 200, the Station nightclub, West Warwick, Rhode Island was left as a ruin on March 26, 2003.
Kathy Borchers via Associated Press

This is the authoritative standard in crowd management. ANSI ES1.9-2020This is the definition of the term. It refers to measures that facilitate the safe movement of people in confined areas. Crowd management is prevention, and it requires security and event organizers to have an understanding of the venue’s design and operational features, as well as the characteristics of the crowd attending an event.

The standard makes sure to differentiate crowd management from crowd control, which it defines as measures meant to address a situation in which a crowd has reached the limits of safe behavior and urgent action is needed to prevent crime or injury ― in other words, when the crowd management plan was unsuccessful.

Safety experts suggest the DIME-ICE method for managing crowds and analyzing risk. The model says event organizers should consider four ways a crowd can be influenced during an event: “design” of an event space; “information,” such as communicating safety decisions with the crowd; “management” systems, like emergency plans, barricades and easily identifiable security staff; and “expectations” from both the crowd and promoters on how the event will play out.

Those four influences should then be applied to the “ICE” portion of the model, which assesses their effect on crowd activity before, during and after an event ― otherwise known as ingress, circulation and egress.

“I know with Astroworld there were a lot of concerns and comments that the emergency responders couldn’t get to those who were hurt or injured, or in some cases passing away,” Narva said. “So having adequate entrance and exits, or ingress and egress, that’s not just for the crowd, but it also helps separate that a little bit by having aisles and, well, entrances and exits and some barricades where people can’t go to try and control that crowd a little bit.

“So it’s not only for the safety of the concertgoer but also those emergency responders that are trying to respond into that mayhem and help people,” he added. “You know, they’re at risk, they can’t get in there and do their jobs. It creates an unsafe situation for both the attendees and responders. So it’s all about life safety.”

According to National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety CodeEvents require crowd management training for large public gatherings such as auditoriums or ballrooms. An event organizer must create a safety assessment for festival-seating venues. It requires them to take into account a variety of hazards and scenarios that could pose a danger.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña previously said that there were 528 police officers on site at the concerttogether with 755 private security staff. The crowd management standard requires that there is at least one audience manager for crowds exceeding 50, as well as an additional crowd manager per 250 persons. Though the number of security officers at Scott’s concert met the standards, it’s unclear how they were dispersed and how many security officers were near the stage, where the occupant load rose too high.

The crowd watches as Travis Scott performs at the Astroworld Festival at NRG Park in Houston on Friday. Eight people died and hundreds of others were injured in a crowd surge while Scott was performing.
On Friday night, Travis Scott performed at Houston’s Astroworld Festival at NRG Park. Scott performed and caused crowd chaos, resulting in 8 deaths and hundreds more being injured.
Jamaal Ellis/Houston Chronicle via Associated Press

Live Nation, the concert promoter, has not responded to HuffPost’s request for comment on how many members of security were near the stage, how many medics were present, if any security members were specifically trained in crowd management and what the barricade configuration was near the stage. The entertainment giant also did not provide any specific steps it’s taking to change how it approaches crowd management at future concerts and festivals it promotes.

A spokesperson for the Houston Police Department did not respond to the same questions, pointing instead to information the department is posting on its Twitter account that does not answer HuffPost’s questions. Troy Finner, Chief of Houston Police Department was on Monday. released a statement saying that he had met with Scott and the musician’s head of security prior to the main event, when Finner expressed concerns regarding public safety.

Police declared the festival a “mass casualty event” about 30 minutes into Scott’s performance, saying that they asked promoters at that time to stop the concert. Police said first responders arrived just a couple of minutes after the declaration, however, Scott’s concert didn’t end until 40 minutes later. Narva explained that due to Scott’s continued concert, and crowd size, first responders took longer time responding.

Scott has earned somewhat of a reputation for chaos at his concertsHis concert energy should reflect his spirit. brand of high adrenaline, dangerous stunts and expressive rowdinessThese can cover a variety of genres.

Travis Scott is seen performing Nov. 11, 2018, at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
Travis Scott performs at American Airlines Arena, Miami on November 11, 2018.
Alexander Tamargo via Getty Images

“I have long objected to the demonization of any particular type of entertainment or crowd configuration. The music or sporting event does not cause injury ― instead it is the choices made during event planning and how people behave at the event that make the difference,” Event Safety Alliance Vice President Steve Adelman said in a statementPublished Saturday.

“At any type of event, including this one, it is worth exploring whether something said or done onstage influenced the crowd to move or respond in a way that incited the crowd crush,” Adelman said. “I worked a case a few years ago where the artists definitely caused the crowd to rush forward, and then barricades failed and people fell onto a concrete concourse below the [general admission]lawn. Incitement does happen, but one should not assume just because of the genre of the event.”

Scott, a multiplatinum rapper, has been arrested twiceAfter being charged with disorderly conduct in relation to crowd rushes during his shows, he pleaded guilty to minor charges. The first arrest, in 2015, came after he encouraged Lollapalooza festival attendees to breach security barricades and surge forward, chanting “We want rage!” in a stampede that injured a 15-year-old girl. Scott made a big splash in music, going from small gigs to teaming with hip-hop stars and major-league rappers.

2017. police arrested Scott againFor encouraging supporters to run for the stage at an Arkansas performance, one person was charged with inciting disorder. A New York City concert attendee said that the charges of inciting riot were brought against him. in an ongoing civil case Scott had encouraged others to leap from third-floor balconies and then had Scott drag him on stage.

In 2019, a crowd surge at Astroworld ― named after Scott’s 2018 album ― led to some spectators being hospitalized. Security increased fencing and barricades to keep the crowd from rushing Friday’s concert, which some concertgoers claimed made it more difficult for them to get away.

In a video statement on Instagram, Scott said that, despite acknowledging an ambulance in the crowd on Friday, he did not realize the extent of the emergency ― adding that he usually halts his concerts to ensure injured fans can make it to safety. Scott said that despite acknowledging an ambulance in the crowd on Friday, he did not realize how serious it was. He also stated that he usually halts his concerts to ensure injured fans can reach safety. continued to perform after acknowledging the ambulanceFinner also noted that officials on the scene were concerned about a possible riot if the concert was stopped early.

Peña said that some of the blame falls on Scott for failing to react fast enough, telling The New York Times that the performer is the “one person who can really call for and get a tactical pause when something goes wrong.” It’s unclear how much Scott could really see of the crush from the stage.

Scott’s representatives said on Monday that the rapper would cover all funeral costs for the victimsHe cancels his Saturday appearance at Day N Vegas and will instead perform as a guest artist. Live Nation on Monday released a joint statementScoremore and Astroworld Festival providing information on how they are cooperating with the law enforcement agencies in this investigation.

“Our staff has met with local authorities to provide information, and we have also provided them with all footage from our CCTV cameras,” the statement said. “Load out of the site and equipment is currently paused to give investigators the time they requested to walk and document the grounds. All ticket holders are eligible for full refunds.

“And most importantly we are working on ways to support attendees, the families of victims, and staff, from providing mental health counseling to setting up a health fund to help with costs for medical expenses,” it continued. “Our entire team is mourning alongside the community.”

Narva stated that it is the best thing for a promoter, venue and artist to prevent a crowd crush at concerts.

“You just have to use some logic, common sense, past experience and training to do it. It’s so much about prevention, and I think concertgoers, or anybody in a big venue, they want that, they’re fine with that,” he said. “Those people that passed away in Astroworld did not expect to die that day. I’m sure they went to that concert to have a good time and enjoy their music. So prevention, prevention, prevention.”


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