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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Orlando woman shares what it was like to be inside the deadly crowd crush at Travis Scott's Astroworld festival

Posted By on Tue, Nov 9, 2021 at 1:48 PM

  • Photo via Travis Scott/Facebook

An Orlando woman was near the main stage at Travis Scott's Astroworld over the weekend, when a crush of people turned the concert deadly. In an interview with WESH, twenty-year-old Kidzya Rodriguez shared her viewpoint of the chaotic concert that left eight people dead and many more injured.

Rodriguez is a longtime fan of Scott, and had wanted to attend the rapper's Houston-based fest for years. Astroworld was her first-ever music festival, but she still noticed problems early on. She told WESH that security shut down the line for a merchandise tent as early as 10 a.m. due to crowd size.

The five-foot tall Rodriguez made her way to the front of the main stage for Scott's evening-ending performance. Even before the final set, Rodriguez said she was being shoved repeatedly. The situation got noticeably more dire when Scott came out.

"People were pushing and pushing," she said. "I could not move, I could not breathe, and I kept saying 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe.'"

Rodriguez said that she nearly passed out at one point, a moment that she captured on video.

Since the disaster, a swirl of videos from the deadly event have been shared. They show a top-to-bottom failure from the people in charge of concert safety. Clips from early in the day show stampedes overwhelming security lines and knocking down metal detectors as groups break into the fest. Videos shot during Scott's set show medics working on unconscious attendees as the show continues. One widely shared video shows a young woman climbing a camera platform and pleading with event staff for help, noting the conditions near the stage where people were being trampled.

Perhaps most damning, the Houston authorities revealed that the concert was declared a mass casualty event a full 40 minutes before the show was stopped. Though Rodriguez was able to escape the crush, she told WESH that she feels "guilty" for walking away from the show.

"I went in there trying to have the best day of my life; the best experience ever and just knowing that this happened – people were injured, people died [and] there was a point were that honestly could've been me," she said.

Scott has offered to cover the funeral costs of the eight people who died and is connecting fans with free therapy sessions. Live Nation will refund all ticketholders at the event. Both the concert organizer and Scott are already named in three lawsuits related to the festival.

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