At least eight people were killed and scores injured when a crowd “began to compress toward the front of the stage” at the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas. There were an estimated 50,000 people in the crowd to see headliner Travis Scott, who also organized the festival to raise funds for his youth charity. Fire officials said 17 people were transported to local hospitals, including 11 who were in cardiac arrest. “It just got worse and worse. Everyone was like you just can’t breathe,” said a concert-goer, who was near the front of the stage.
Class discussion: Is this tragic incident likely to make you wary of crowds? Where else have stampeding crowds trampled and killed people – other concerts, sporting events, building fires, etcetera? In all, 367 police officers and 241 security officers had been assigned to the festival. Is it actually possible to control a crowd of 50,000? A person who climbed a camera riser to plead for help was jeered. Why do people often ignore the dangers during catastrophes? How easy is it for a crowd to panic? How can “crowd mentality” overwhelm individual judgment?