HOUSTON (NWN) – Screaming. Suffocating Quite nervous. Fainted.
Those attending Friday night’s concert at a much-anticipated Houston music festival say they were shocked to see how the event turned into a pandemic that killed at least eight people..
rapper travis scott NRG was the headliner for the sold-out Astroworld festival in the park, which was attended by an estimated 50,000 people.
Here, some of them describe the chaos They are still trying to understand.
Ariel Little of New York was in the middle of the crowd in a prominent visual location for only a minute before starting a conflict with her husband.
It was in trying to escape the increasingly packed space that the couple realized how dangerous it was becoming.
Little’s voice trembled with emotion as she described how small she felt gasping for air as she was battered by the crowd.
“My chest hurts a lot from people pushing and crushing — literally crushing — in my chest and my lungs. And all I remember is him screaming for him. ‘I have to get out! I have to get out’ !’ And people weren’t moving,” Little said. “They thought it was a joke but it was literally like people dying.”
Her husband, Sean, quickly surveys the scene to find a way out.
“There were a lot of people in my section who had screaming and panic attacks because it felt like you were under an elevator and the elevator was coming at you and there was nothing you could do about it,” said Sean Little. said. “There was no one running in my section at the time because I think everyone was in shock with how crazy and how nervous everyone was. There was a lot of fear in the eyes of the people.
Madeline Eskins is an intensive care unit nurse, who said she was at one of the festivals that passed out as a mass of people pressed close to the stage. She was taken for medical attention to a less crowded place, where she woke up.
Eskins, 23, of Houston, said she saw someone nearby who needed medical help, and told them she was a nurse. When a security guard listened to her, she asked if she could start helping others, Eskins said.
“There were three people on the ground getting CPR and the most disorganized chaos I’ve ever seen in my life,” Eskins said.
Eskins said he tried to guide medical staff and volunteers on how to use a defibrillator, and he also helped test pulses and perform CPR compressions on several people.
“When the main cast came out — like Travis — people got, like, narrowed down reason they just wanted to see him,” Sal Salinas said. “It was like you suffocated there. If you weren’t on the side or something, you were suffocating.”
Niara Goodes, 28, from New York, said the crowd swelled when the timer clicked at the start of the performance.
“As he jumped off the stage, it felt like an energy took over and everything went awry. Suddenly your ribs are getting crushed. Somebody’s hand is around your neck. You’re trying to breathe, but you can’t,” said Goods, who went to Texas to see friends and celebrate birthdays.
She said she and her friends, one of whom had been punched in the head and jaw, quickly parted ways from each other but all fled. Goodes said she was so desperate to get out that she stabbed a man on the shoulder to shake her.
“Some people are laughing at us – who are yelling to get out. Because they thought it was funny. They didn’t know it was panic,” she said.
Later, after going to safety, he saw the wounded in gurneys or wheelchairs flow to safety.
“It was literally the scariest night of my life. I really thought I was going to die trying to get out. It’s not what you pay for,” she said.
Gary Gaston, 52, of Houston, said he went to the concert with his ex-wife, their 14-year-old son and a friend of the teen.
After some of Scott’s songs, he felt so threatened that he decided to get out of the medical tent and meet.
When Gaston and his ex-wife arrived after 10 p.m., they said they saw medical personnel begin bringing at least eight people into the tent, most of whom appeared unresponsive.
“It was surreal because you see these people being pulled over these gurneys and people running into medical tents, but the music is still playing,” Gaston said. “People in the arena were unaware of this.”
Gavin Flores said people kept trying to get to places where no one was left, while others tried to make their way toward the barricades to jump to safety.
“They couldn’t get there because there were people out there blocking them, so they had to deal with people like that because they couldn’t get out of the show,” Flores said. “They ‘Stop the show!’ And there was a guy in the back getting CPR. So many people getting CPR, like it was absurd.”
Julian Ponce said there were injuries but he didn’t know there were deaths until he got home.
“It was kind of mind blowing, like we kept hearing people say, ‘Stop the show. Stop the show,’ but we didn’t know what was going on. We heard someone was bleeding . We heard a lot of things and we weren’t very sure, ”said Ponce. “I don’t even know how to feel. It is simply breathtaking. “
Associated Press reporter Acacia Coronado contributed from Austin, Texas.