/Astroworld Festival – latest: Travis Scott and Drake sued by crush survivors as flowers left at memorial – The Independent

Astroworld Festival – latest: Travis Scott and Drake sued by crush survivors as flowers left at memorial – The Independent


At least 8 dead, several others injured during Astroworld music festival, officials say

Travis Scott and the organisers of the Astroworld event that left eight people dead have been sued by an injured concertgoer who branded it a “predictable and preventable tragedy.”

Lawyers for Manuel Souza filed a petition in Harris County District Court suing Scott, event organiser ScoreMore and concert giant Live Nation over the Friday night incident, according to Billboard.

At least two investigations are now underway into the deadly stampede which took placed at the opening night of the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas.

A sold-out headline show by rapper and festival organiser Travis Scott on turned deadly when guests began pushing towards the front of the stage, crushing some and reportedly leaving them unable to breathe.

Officials said a 14-year-old was among the victims, and that a security guard may have been injected with drugs as the chaos unfolded.

The mayor of Houston has vowed to “leave [no] stone unturned” in investigating the disaster, while Mr Scott said in a message to fans that he is “absolutely devastated.”

Livestreamed footage of the event showed the rapper pausing his performance as an ambulance arrived at the venue, NRG Park.

Follow latest updates below:

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Linkin Park video goes viral over handling of the crowd

Amid the backlash over the handling of the Astroworld concert where a crowd crush led to the deaths of at least eight people, a particular video of Linkin Park has gone viral.

The footage begins with Mike Shinoda stopping the concert after he spots a fan who fell into the mosh pit. “Yo! We got a little problem here,” he says. “Pick him up! Pick him up right now!” Chester Bennington, the late lead vocalist of the band, can be heard saying.

“Sorry you guys, we gotta look out for safety first, for real. Nobody gets hurt, that’s number one. We’ll play this s**t, the whole s**t again, if you guys get up, if you guys are alright. OK? Watch yourselves,” adds Shinoda.

Sharing the clip, a user wrote: “Travis Scott should watch this clip of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park handling a crowd.”The video has been viewed over 5.8 million times and retweeted over 17,000 times and liked over 71,400 times since it was shared on Sunday.

Namita Singh8 November 2021 05:49

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Two investigations and three lawsuits opened into Astroworld Festival

At least two investigations and three civil lawsuits were underway as of late on Sunday into the deadly stampede during Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival that claimed eight lives.

While the Houston police has opened a criminal investigation led by its homicide division and narcotics detectives, following reports that somebody in the audience had been injecting drugs, at least three separate civil lawsuits were also been filed on Sunday.

Texas attorney Thomas Henry filed a lawsuit against rappers Travis Scott and Aubrey Drake Graham, on behalf of 23-year-old Kristian Parades accusing them of negligence. Mr Parades is also seeking damages worth $Im for injuries he says he sustained at the concert.

Patrick Stennis of Harris County has filed a second lawsuit through his attorney Kurt Arnold accusing concert company Live Nation Worldwide Inc, Travis Scott and others of failing to “properly plan, design, manage, operate, staff and supervise the event”, reported Click2Houston.

Manuel Souza filed a petition in Harris County District Court suing Scott, event organiser ScoreMore and concert giant Live Nation over the Friday night incident, according to Billboard.

People attend a makeshift memorial on 7 November 2021 at the NRG Park grounds where eight people died in a crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas

(AFP via Getty Images)

Namita Singh8 November 2021 05:18

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Houston Police Department conveyed concerns regarding crowd management

The Houston Police Department had conveyed their concerns about the difficulty to manage the crowd during the concert to the organisers, reported the New York Times.

The Houston police chief Troy Finner, who knows Travis Scott personally, said he had visited the rapper on Friday in his trailer to express his apprehension.

Mr Finner said he explained to Scott that he was concerned about the star’s very devoted fans, and hjs reputation for whipping them up into a “rage”.

A spokesperson for the Houston Police Department declined to comment on Mr Finner’s private conversations with Scott, the NYT reported, citing the ongoing investigation.

Houston Chief of Police Troy Finner speaks at the press conference addressing the cancellation of the Astroworld festival on 6 November 2021 in Houston, Texas

(Getty Images)

Namita Singh8 November 2021 05:13

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‘I should have smashed that camera to pieces’

ICYMI: The woman who climbed a camera platform to try to stop the show has expressed her fury at concert staff who ignored her please.

“I did all I could, but if I could go back that camera would’ve been shattered to pieces,” said artist Seanna Faith McCarty on Instagram.

She also identified herself as the woman seen in various TikTok and Instagram videos climbing up a ladder and screaming at a camera operator that people were dying in the crowd.

A video apparently showing Seanna McCarty turning the camera

(Andy Pacheco/Instagram)

One video shows her grabbing the front of the camera and trying to point it towards where people were in distress.

Of the victims, she said: “Rest in power.”

Graeme Massie8 November 2021 04:57

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What we know about the victims

At least eight people were killed after a massive crowd surged toward the stage during Travis Scott’s performance. Those who died ranged from 14 to 27 years old.

Here is what we know about them so far:

Danish Baig, 27: Baig was killed while trying to save his fiancee, Olivia Swingle. The two worked at AT&T.

“He was [an] innocent young soul who would always put others before him. He was a hard-working man who loved his family and took care of us. He was there in a heartbeat for anything. He always had a solution to everything,” his brother Basil Baig told ABC News in a statement.

Franco Patino, 21: He was a college junior majoring in mechanical engineering technology with a minor in human movement biomechanics, confirmed administrators at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

Remembering him, his brother Julio Patino Jr told People magazine that his younger sibling had a “big heart” and “was always going above and beyond and helping others”.

Jacob Jurinek, 20: Jacob was a graduate of Naperville’s Neuqua Valley High School and a junior at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He was attending the festival with his best friend, Patino.

“Jake was beloved by his family and by his seemingly countless number of friends for his contagious enthusiasm, his boundless energy, and his unwavering positive attitude,” said his family in the statement.

Briana Rodriguez, 16: A junior at Heights High School.

“Gone from our sites, but never from our hearts. It is with profound sadness we lay to rest our beloved Brianna Rodriguez. She was a beautiful vibrant 16-year-old high school junior… Dancing was her passion and now she’s dancing her way to heaven’s pearly gates,” said her family’s Facebook post.

John Hilgert, 14: Identified as the youngest victim, Hilgert was a ninth-grader Memorial High School in Hedwig Village Texas.

“Our hearts go out to the student’s family and to his friends and our staff at Memorial. This is a terrible loss, and the entire MHS family is grieving today,” wrote the principal Lisa Weir.

Rudy Pena, 23: Pena, from Laredo, Texas, was also identified among the victims. A day after the tragedy, her brother-in-law Sergio Gonzalez told People Magazine that the family wants answer and justice.

“We learned in the worst way. We found out around 12.30 last night from a friend of Rudy that was with him that he had just passed out,” Mr Gonzalez said. “It wasn’t until this afternoon that we found out he had died.”

Axel Acosta, 21: Days after authorities were looking for help in identifying the eighth victim, Edgar Acosta came forward to confirm that the unidentified victim in Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center was his son Axel Acosta.

He had traveled from Washington alone to see Travis Scott and was studying computer science at Western Washington University.

Namita Singh8 November 2021 04:23

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Last unidentified victim named as Axel Acosta, 21

ICYMI: The last of the eight dead to be identified has now been named as Axel Acosta, 21, a computer science student from Washington state on the US west coast.

(Acosta family)

Police released photos of Acosta’s body in the hope of finding someone who knew him. Those photos were seen by his father, Edgar, who had travelled with him to Texas to attend the festival.

Acosta’s aunt, Cynthia, said it had been the first time he had ever attended a music show. His body has now been claimed by Edgar Acosta.

Axel Acosta, on the right, and his father Edgar, left

(Acosta family)

Everything about that night was a tragedy,” she said. “John was a good student and athlete and so polite. He was the sweetest and smartest young man… [he and Robby] were both in the same place at the same time, and one came home and one we will never see.”

Graeme Massie8 November 2021 04:04

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Kylie Jenner: ‘We weren’t aware of any fatalities’

ICYMI: Travis Scott’s partner Kylie Jenner has said that neither of them were aware during the show that people were dying.

In an Instagram Story post on Saturday night, the model and Kardashian scion said both she and Mr Scott were “broke and devastated”, and that Mr Scott “cares deeply for his fans and the Houston community”.

She continued: “I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing.

“I am sending my deepest condolences to all the families during this difficult time and will be praying for the healing of everyone who has been impacted.”

Kylie Jenner with Travis Scott and their daughter Stormi

(Getty Images for Netflix)

Graeme Massie8 November 2021 03:02

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Twitter users share video of Dave Grohl stopping a show in 2018

Mr Grohl is sometimes described as “the nicest guy in rock”, and afterwards Owen was invited up on set to play some notes on the musician’s guitar.

But there are key differences with what happened at Astroworld. Apart from there being no crowd crush at the time, the venue was smaller (with a capacity of 18,000) and most of the crowd was seated.

Travis Scott did also attempt to stop the concert several times on Friday night, directing the crowd to give space for a person who had fallen unconscious.

“We need somebody to help, somebody’s passed out right here,” he said. “Hold on – don’t touch him, don’t touch him. Everybody just back up… come on, come on, security, get in there.”

Graeme Massie8 November 2021 02:03

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Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump now representing Astroland victim

Mr Crump says his firm is now representing victims, including 21-year-old Noah Gutierrez in the wake of the event at which eight people died and hundreds more were injured.

Graeme Massie8 November 2021 01:31

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‘We were literally partying in a graveyard’

ICYMI: We are now learning more about just how the crowd crush unfolded, and it isn’t good. While authorities became fully aware of the problem at 9:30pm, evidence is mounting that it started much earlier.

Madeline Eskins, an ICU nurse who was attending the concert as a guest, told the Washington Post that the atmosphere began to change at 8:50pm, just before Mr Scott took the stage. Squeezed and shoved into an ever-tighter space, she passed out about 25 minutes later.

When she woke up around 9:30pm, she says, she saw many other people “in pretty bad shape”, with some lacking a pulse and others receiving CPR or shocks from a defibrillator. “As an ICU nurse, we have organised procedures in place when people go into cardiac arrest. But this was hell,” she said.

Alana Stevenson, 20, said that within the first few songs of Mr Scott’s set people were “really basically screaming bloody murder, asking for help”, and struggling to get free, sometimes knocking each other out but not realising that there was “nowhere for anyone to go”.

She said: “We were literally partying in a graveyard. There was dead bodies and people kept going.”

When rescue carts tried to inch their way through the thick crowd, some people climbed up on them and danced on them. Desmond Gary, 25, told the Post: “It kind of just turned into like, World War Three out there, like people literally fighting for their lives.”

All of this came before 9:30pm.

Graeme Massie8 November 2021 01:01

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