/  11.08.2021

As more details about the Astroworld tragedy unfold, a New York Times report reveals Travis Scott was warned of the potential chaos on the day of the event. According to the publication, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, reportedly visited the emcee’s trailer on Friday (Nov. 5) and “conveyed concerns about the energy in the crowd” filled with “very devoted fans.”

The festival proved difficult to control in 2019, so organizers braced themselves for the return of the event in the wake of postponements related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the Times, they hired more officers and private security this go round and prepared an emergency plan for responding to extreme weather, an active shooter or a riot, and another detailing an appropriate medical response.

Amid the process, organizers highlighted key concerns, including “the potential for multiple alcohol/drug-related incidents, possible evacuation needs, and the ever-present threat of a mass casualty situation.” They also advised employees to refer to suspected deceased individuals as “smurfs.”

On the day before Astroworld, Houston Fire Department officials adjusted pyrotechnics because “they didn’t match the submitted plan.” Twenty ambulances and a medical tent complete with physicians registered nurses, paramedics and EMTs were later positioned at the event for emergency purposes. Additionally, organizers set up stronger fencing, bike racks and more with hopes to control the crowd, and trained security to notice “minor” signs of those in need of medical care were spread throughout.

By 8 p.m., however, medical staff was overwhelmed and understaffed following an influx of patients, most of whom were in need of naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. A total of 62 ambulances were eventually called to the scene to collect more individuals, but the naloxone had long run out.

As REVOLT previously reported, eight fans were trampled to death as a packed crowd pushed toward the front of NRG Park in anticipation of Scott’s performance. Despite efforts to make staff and the emcee aware of the passed-out individuals, the show went on for some time before it was brought to an early end.

“The one person who can really call for and get a tactical pause when something goes wrong is that performer. They have that bully pulpit and they have a responsibility,” Fire Chief Samuel Peña said on Sunday (Nov. 7). “If somebody would have said, ‘Hey, shut this thing down and turn on the lights until this thing gets corrected’ — and that coming from the person with the mic — I think could have been very helpful.”

Scott, however, claims he was unaware of how bad things had gotten during the event. He says he’s working with the Houston PD amid the ongoing investigation, and he faces multiple lawsuits for his alleged negligence amid the tragedy.


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