(Reuters) -Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert on Friday was meant to signal the resurgence of his hometown with an epic live event after the global pandemic paused the popular annual hip hop festival.
But disaster struck during his headline performance as, over the course of the Grammy Award-nominated rapper’s 90-minute show, at least eight of the 50,000 attendees died https://www.reuters.com/world/us/least-8-dead-many-injured-texas-music-festival-media-2021-11-06 and many more were injured as fans surged toward the stage.
“For everybody watching at home right now, I want everybody to feel how we do it in Houston real quick,” Scott told the audience moments before the tragedy unfolded, according to video of the concert posted online.
An aerial shot from the video showed a tightly knit tangle of concert-goers about 18 minutes into footage that was uploaded by a YouTube user but later removed for copyright violation by Saturday morning.
“I wanna see some ragers, man. Who wanna rage?” Scott called out to the audience less than a half hour into his performance before the sold out crowd at Houston’s NRG Park, according to the videos of the concert.
Audience members could be seen jumping and swaying to the music, with some body-surfing above the crowd, according to the videos, which carried an Apple Music watermark.
At around the half hour mark in the footage uploaded to YouTube, Scott pauses the show for the first time: “There’s an ambulance in the … whoah whoah,” he said. In an aerial shot, the white top of what appears to be an emergency vehicle could be seen swallowed up in the crowd.
Moments later, Scott continues the show, re-energizing the audience: “Two hands to the sky, I want to make this … ground shake.”
But less than fifteen minutes later, he stops the show again.
“We need somebody to help, somebody passed out right here. … Don’t touch him, don’t touch him, everybody just back up. Security, somebody help, jump in real quick,” Scott calls out as yellow-clad security guards below him appear to be trying to pull people from the crowd.
The show continues moments later.
Again, Scott calls on the audience to make the “earth quake,” before sharing the stage with Canadian rapper, songwriter and actor Drake toward the end of the concert.
In a social media post on Saturday morning, Scott said he was “absolutely devastated” by what happened, would support the police as they investigate the incident, and wanted to help the community heal.
“My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted,” he wrote. “Love You All.”
(Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Daniel Wallis)