Astroworld Festival timeline: How the tragedy unfolded

(HOUSTON) — It took just minutes for a crowd of concertgoers to transform into a deadly melee that killed several people during the Astroworld music festival.

Rapper Travis Scott, the founder of the festival, which is named after his 2018 album, continued to perform as multiple people in the audience suffered medical emergencies.

Ten people died due to the chaos after the crowd, filled with 50,000 people, rushed toward the stage during Scott’s set. Dozens more were transported to the hospital with injuries.

Scott has a history of inciting crowds at performances and was charged for it twice in recent years.

 

Here is how the tragedy at the Astroworld Festival unfolded:

Aug. 1, 2015

Scott was arrested on charges of inciting a crowd to jump barriers at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and paid a fine, according to officials.

May 13, 2017

Scott was arrested in Rogers, Arkansas, after prompting fans at the Walmart Music Pavilion to breach barricades and overrun security. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and paid a fine.

Nov. 17, 2018

The inaugural Astroworld Festival took place in Scott’s hometown of Houston at the 350-acre NRG Park.

Nov. 9, 2019

A “similar incident” to the crowd surge took place at the 2019 festival, when fans breached barricades, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told reporters. Three people were injured and taken to the hospital, ABC Houston station KTRK reported at the time.

Nearly 100 extra event security personnel were added for this year’s event, Hidalgo said.

Oct. 26

Scott announced the lineup for the 2021 Astroworld Festival, which included performances by Young Thug, SZA, Lil Baby, Earth, Wind & Fire, Master P and 21 Savage.

Friday, Nov. 5

Morning: Concertgoers began to line up. By the afternoon, people began rushing past security checkpoints and into the venue, officials said. More than 1,000 security staff and police were present — an increase from the festival that took place in 2019, according to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Before 4 p.m.: At least 54 patients had been treated by medical staff, according to an activity log from the Houston Police Department that also noted dangerous crowd conditions.

Before Scott’s show: There were no performances on the festival’s second stage at the time, according to the event schedule, meaning all 50,000 fans had the opportunity to assemble outside the main stage in time for Scott to perform.

The crowd “began to compress toward the front of the stage,” Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña told reporters. The packed crowd began pushing to the stage during the countdown to Scott’s performance, an Apple livestream of the event showed.

Approximately 9 p.m.: Minutes after Scott’s set began, fans near the stage could be seen struggling to stay on their feet. Less than 10 minutes into the show, groups of concertgoers throughout the crowd began to show distress, video shows.

9:25 p.m.: Scott stopped the show for the first time to draw attention to someone in the crowd who needed help, saying, “Somebody passed out right here,” the Apple livestream showed. He then continued his performance but stopped two more times in response to the chaos in the crowd, including once when an ambulance drove through.

Around 9:30 p.m.: Medical staff responded to someone lying unresponsive in front of a reserved section, according to the HPD activity log. Concertgoer Seanna Faith McCarty climbed onto a camera platform to ask a cameraman to help as the chaos escalated.

San Antonio resident Fatima Munoz, 21, described a “domino effect” that took place: “I had fell right on the floor, and that’s when everybody started tumbling down, and I tried so hard to get up,” she said on ABC News’ podcast “Start Here.” “There’s just too much people like on me, like those legit dog pile on me. I was on the floor. Nobody helped. I tried screaming for my life. I tried screaming for help.”

9:38 p.m.: Houston Police officers and firefighters responded to reports of a mass casualty event at the festival, where people were being crushed against the stage and many had already collapsed, according to the police activity log.

9:42 p.m.: Scott stopped the show for a third time to draw attention to someone in the crowd who needed help, the Apple livestream showed.

Video posted to social media showed security personnel lifting a limp body from the crowd.

10:12 p.m.: Scott finished the show and left the stage, the Apple stream showed. Police officials later told the Houston Chronicle that the promoter, Live Nation, agreed to cut the show short, but Scott continued his set.

Scott’s attorney later told ABC News that Scott did not know what was happening in the crowd during the concert.

Some 300 people were treated by medical personnel on site, authorities said. Another 25 were transported to the hospital.

Saturday, Nov. 6

The remainder of the festival was canceled.

Scott released a statement on Instagram, saying he was “absolutely devastated by what took place” the night before.

The first lawsuit against Scott was filed in Harris County, Texas.

Thirteen people remained in the hospital, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

Sunday, Nov. 7

Kylie Jenner posted to her Instagram story that Scott was not aware of any fatalities and would have not continued performing had he known.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said in a statement he had previously expressed concerns when he met with Scott and his head of security to discuss the main event.

Monday, Nov. 8

Scott announced he will provide full refunds for all attendees who bought tickets to Astroworld and that he will not perform at the Day N Vegas Festival that weekend, sources said.

The FBI is providing “some forms of technical assistance” to investigators in Houston, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Monday at a Department of Justice news conference when asked by ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas whether the bureau was involved.

Identities of eight of the victims were released. A prayer vigil for the victims was held at the Annunciation Catholic Church in Houston.

Wednesday, Nov. 9

A ninth victim, 22-year-old Bharti Shahani, died from injuries sustained at the festival, according to her family.

A 9-year-old boy who attended the festival with his father remained in critical condition.

Scott and his team also released a new statement: “Over the last week, Travis Scott and his team have been actively exploring routes of connection with each and every family affected by the tragedy through the appropriate liaisons. He is distraught by the situation and desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid to them as soon as possible, but wants to remain respectful of each family’s wishes on how they’d best like to be connected.”

Sunday, Nov. 14

The 9-year-old boy who attended the festival with his father died from his injuries at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, the Associated Press reported.

He was placed in a medically induced coma after he suffered serious injuries to his brain, kidney and liver while being crushed by fellow concertgoers, family attorney Ben Crump said.

At least 30 lawsuits have been filed against Scott, concert producers and the venue.

ABC News’ Meredith Deliso, Jenna Harrison, Bill Hutchinson, Alexander Mallin, and Stephanie Wash contributed to this report.

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