As investigators continue to look into the catastrophe that took place at the 2021 Astroworld Festival, a security guard has stepped up to talk about his experience working at the festival. During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Darius Williams shared his beliefs that the security team was inadequately trained and “unprepared” to deal with the crowd of 50,000 concertgoers.
According to Williams, he was hired by Contemporary Services Corporation to safeguard the event despite only having experience in retail and hospitality. “It felt like they just needed bodies like they were hiring anyone who passed a background test,” he said, adding that he and other workers completed both orientation and training on the day before the festival (Nov. 4).
“You have to take the state licensing exam to become a level two security officer,” he said. “However, the training for that was extremely brief. It was an open-book test. The teacher, he was actually giving us the answers as we were going through the books ourselves, and trying to hurry up and fill out the answers.” His concerns grew on the day of the actual event.
As fans entered the venue, Williams said that he realized they were “severely understaffed.” “From what I saw, there was probably one security guard for everyone, 500 to 1,000 people,” he explained. With a lack of workers and “pretty vague” instructions on how to handle a crowd surge, Williams eventually left as he was uncomfortable working the event.
Scott’s Astroworld Festival was cut short after increasing concerns about the well-being of fans in the audience. As the crowd rushed toward the stage, eight people were trampled to death and countless others were treated. Jackson Bush, another security guard hired to work the festival, believes that the number of injuries “could have been avoided” if the staff was given proper training. “If we were all prepared the right way, that stuff wouldn’t have happened the way it did,” he previously told NewsNation.