The latest on the deadly Astroworld crowd surge

By Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:13 PM ET, Mon November 8, 2021
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9:09 a.m. ET, November 8, 2021

Here's a timeline of how the Astroworld tragedy unfolded 

From CNN's Alaa Elassar

An ambulance is seen in the crowd during the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, on November 5.
An ambulance is seen in the crowd during the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, on November 5. (@onacasella/Twitter/Reuters)

The Friday night crowd at the sold-out Astroworld Festival was so tightly packed that when audience members were pushed toward the stage, some told CNN, they were crushed to the point that they couldn't breathe and passed out.

Concertgoers described the event as traumatizing, with many witnesses saying they saw lifeless bodies being trampled amid the chaos. Those who survived had to fight their way out of the crowd as the music continued.

Travis Scott took the stage for his set shortly after 9 p.m. Officials said they were made aware of crowd surges early in his set, and received the first reports of injuries at approximately 9:30 p.m.

It is unclear what Scott saw from the stage and whether he was aware of the crowd conditions at the time, but he continued to perform until approximately 10:10 p.m.

That is about 40 minutes after the first reports of injuries were made to officials and just over 30 minutes after officials declared the concert a "mass casualty event," according to times given by Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña at a news conference Saturday morning.

Video from the concert's livestream also showed Scott pausing his performance and looking on in apparent confusion as an ambulance pulled into the crowd. He began performing against, but later stopped the concert.

Scott gave his first on-camera statement in a video posted to his Instagram account Saturday night.

"I'm honestly just devastated," Scott said as he repeatedly sighed and rubbed his forehead. "We're actually working right now to identify the families so we can help assist them through this tough time."

Some concertgoers have criticized organizers for continuing the show even as unresponsive people were being given CPR and carried away, but Scott indicated he was not aware of how severe things had gotten. "Any time I could make out, you know, anything that's going on, you know, I just stopped my show and, you know, helped them get the help they need."

The Houston Police Department tweeted Sunday the investigation into the tragedy is active and "in its early stages."

The lawsuit alleges, "Scott actively encourages his fans to 'rage' at his concerts. His express encouragement of violence has previously resulted in serious violence at numerous past concerts."

It also cites a since-deleted tweet from Scott in response to fan complaints about this concert's quick sell-out: "WE STILL SNEAKING THE WILD ONES IN. !!!!!"

See a more detailed timeline here.

8:32 a.m. ET, November 8, 2021

A lawsuit has been filed against Travis Scott, Live Nation and concert promoter Scoremore

From CNN's Alaa Elassar

Travis Scott performs at the Astroworld Music Festival on November 5, in Houston, Texas.
Travis Scott performs at the Astroworld Music Festival on November 5, in Houston, Texas. (Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

A lawsuit has been filed following the Astroworld Festival tragedy that left eight people dead and dozens injured in Houston on Friday night.

A concertgoer who was injured during the festival is suing rapper and producer Travis Scott, who was the organizer of the Astroworld Festival, as well as entertainment company Live Nation, concert promoter Scoremore and others involved in the event, according to the lawsuit obtained by CNN.

Manuel Souza, who is being represented by the law firm Kherkher Garcia, "suffered serious bodily injuries when the uncontrolled crowd at the concert knocked him to the ground and trampled him," according to the lawsuit filed in Harris County, Texas.

"Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner," the lawsuit continued.

"Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors. Their gross negligence caused Plaintiff serious injuries."

A jury trial is preferred to determine the exact amount of damages, according to the lawsuit, but Souza is seeking "monetary relief of over $1,000,000."

CNN has reached out to Scott, Live Nation and Scoremore for comment on the lawsuit.

"Heartbroken for those lost and impacted at Astroworld last night," Live Nation, the company responsible for organizing the Astroworld Festival, said in a statement. "We will continue working to provide as much information and assistance as possible to the local authorities as they investigate the situation."

Live Nation is a concert promoter, venue operator and the owner of Ticketmaster. According to its website, it sells 500 million tickets to concerts and festivals each year.

In a video posted on Instagram Saturday night, Travis Scott said, "I'm honestly just devastated." 

"We're actually working right now to identify the families so we can help assist them through this tough time," the rapper continued. 

CNN has reached out to Travis Scott, Live Nation and Scoremore for comment on the lawsuit.

 

9:06 a.m. ET, November 8, 2021

The investigation into the deadly Astroworld crowd surge could take "weeks if not longer," mayor says

From CNN's Travis Caldwell, Rosa Flores and Joe Sutton

The Astroworld Festival site on Friday, November 5.
The Astroworld Festival site on Friday, November 5. (KTRK)

Police are in the early stages of a criminal investigation after a crowd surge at a Houston music festival on Friday left eight people dead and scores more injured, with at least two fighting for their lives in critical condition.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said authorities were working to determine the circumstances behind the crush at the Astroworld Festival, and told CNN's Pamela Brown Sunday the city's thoughts are with those who were killed or injured.

"We are praying for their family members, there are still two individuals who are critical — in critical condition in our hospitals — so, we are praying for all of them," he said.

Rapper Travis Scott, who headlined and organized the festival, was due to perform shortly after 9 p.m. Friday when thousands of attendees rushed forward, getting closer to the stage.

"The crowd for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed — they were unable to escape that situation," Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña told CNN.

As Scott performed, the situation worsened as concertgoers near the front were trapped. Witnesses told CNN of harrowing scenes of people crushed or trampled as calls for help were drowned out by the music.

The Houston Police Department said Sunday the investigation is "very active and is in its early stages," and department services remained available to those seeking information on loved ones who were in attendance.

"There's a criminal investigation underway at this point in time," Turner told CNN, stating he and his team met Sunday morning to begin "a detailed review of everything that has taken place. It will take probably weeks if not longer, and I'm sure that what took place will be looked at from many different angles, as well as it should be."