Editor’s note: NOWCastSA Intern Jose Garcia, a UTSA Computer Science student, attended the Astroworld Festival in Houston where 10 people died during the Travis Scott concert on Friday Nov. 5, 2021. Here is his story:
Two of my friends and I made it to the Astroworld Festival around 12:30 p.m. We went through all the security checkpoints, and I thought it seemed more organized than the previous Astroworld FestivalI had attended in 2019. We walked around and looked at the different booths and art pieces, then decided to go wait in line for some merchandise. After 30 minutes, we decided to leave the line to get some food and prepare for the concerts.
Shortly after 4 p.m. we were at one of the stages where Don Toliver was performing.
That is when I first noticed things were a bit off. Where we were standing, it was a bit packed but you could still kind of move around.
Suddenly, we got pushed from behind and everyone ended up right on the person in front of them. The crowd in front of us pushed back and it turned into a bit of a pushing war, with me and my friends stuck in the middle of it.
It got to the point where I ended up losing my friends from all the pushing and shoving. Eventually the performance ended and people started leaving, giving me an opportunity to get out.
I eventually got out and met up with one of my friends at the spot we had told each other to meet if we got lost. I was pretty dehydrated at this point so I went to go buy a $5 small Dasani water bottle at one of the convenience booths.
My friend told me that he didn’t really catch the performance since he got pushed out and decided it was not worth being in there. Regardless, we caught a breather and went back to watch Lil Baby perform. This time, we were at the back so we had ample space to move around.
Finally, after Lil Baby finished, we went to the main stage to try and get the best possible spot to watch Travis Scott’s performance at 9 p.m. We got to a spot somewhere around the middle and packed in and waited till the concert began.
Once Travis came out, everyone went crazy; the dancing and jumping started, and it was fun. However, about 15 minutes into the show, a huge push came from behind where I was standing. I was shoved into the people in front of me and was unable to move at all. The pushing and shoving continued back and forth, and I felt like I couldn’t get solid footing on the ground.
I remember it being really difficult to breathe, especially with the hot dead air in the crowd. I did manage to get up on my tip toes and catch some fresh cold air, helping me reset my breathing and allowing me to not panic.
I realized that I was in a bad situation when the wet hoodie of the person in front of me was on my face and I was unable to move it because I couldn’t lift my arms. That made it really difficult to breathe, and I realized I needed to move or get out.
Thankfully, a huge guy was pushing his way back to try and get himself and his girlfriend out of the crowd. He passed right next to me and I essentially grabbed on to him and followed him out to the exit. By this time, I had lost both of my friends in the crowd, but I was safe and out of the crush.
I made the decision to go back in but to a spot where it wasn’t so crowded and I was able to freely move around. I had fun in that spot and even managed to reunite with one of my friends. The concert ended and we started walking to the meet up spot to meet up with our other friend who had gotten separated. On the way there, we saw a medic cart passing by with someone on it receiving CPR. I thought they had just passed out, and I still don’t know what happened to that person.
We finally met with our friend and walked back to my car in the parking lot. I got a text from another friend who was at the concert asking if I had made it back. I told him I had, and asked if he was okay as well. He said he was fine, but told me that people had died at the concert.
At first I didn’t believe him, but he said that there were a couple of people next to him getting CPR and he heard one did not have a pulse.
That’s when it hit me that this was not normal and that something tragic had just happened.
I am glad that my friends and I all made it out safe, without any major physical injuries, just a couple of bruises and scratches.