Over the weekend eight people were killed and many more injured during rapper Travis Scott’s Houston music festival, Astroworld.
Authorities are currently investigating what led to the tragedy.
While there have been horrific mass casualty concert events such as the 2017 terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande performance at Britain’s Manchester Arena and the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas the same year, there have also been deaths and injuries related to crowd surges and stampedes.
David Cassidy at White City Stadium in 1974
More than 700 people were injured and 14-year-old Bernadette Whelan died following a crowd surge at a David Cassidy concert held at the White City Stadium in West London on May 26, 1974.
In an article in the British publication The Independent published around the 25th anniversary of the tragedy, it was reported that “The central section of the 35,000 crowd had surged forward when Cassidy appeared; many fainted, were trampled upon or were crushed.”
“One St John Ambulance man said the scale of the injuries reminded him of the Blitz,” the story read. “The director of the British Safety Council called it a “suicide concert”.”
John Davidson at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in 1977
Singer John Davidson had drawn a sizable crowd to the popular nightclub in Southgate, Kentucky, on May 28, 1977 when a fire broke out.
As people rushed to try and exit at the same time, many became trapped in the flames and smoke resulting in the deaths of 165 people and others injured.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in August that the former site of the venue was set to have an assisted living center, apartments, and homes built on it.
The Who at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum in 1979
Weeks before Christmas in 1979, 11 people died after a crowd surge of those attempting to get into a concert by The Who scheduled to be held at this major venue in Cincinnati.
First come, first serve festival seating was blamed for the tragedy as concert goers rushed to try and get inside before all the doors had been opened.
According to Cincinnati.com, The Who frontman Roger Daltrey quietly visited the Finneytown memorial site in 2018 to pay tribute to the victims.
“Because there’s always a certain amount, ‘If I hadn’t been doing this, it wouldn’t have happened,’ you know,” Daltrey was quoted as saying. “That’s just human nature. That’s what we carry with us.”
The group had planned to return to the community for a gig in April 2020 as part of their “Moving On!” Tour, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pearl Jam at Roskilde music festival in 2000
Eight people died of suffocation and a ninth person died at the hospital days later following a performance by Pearl Jam at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival back in 2000.
According to Rolling Stone, the trouble started in the mosh pit and things got tight for those in the crowd.
“Half an hour in, I knew it was life and death. I couldn’t lift my arms,” then 19-year-old Tomas Miller told the publication. “It was difficult to breathe. I lifted my head to feel clean air. I was scared for my life.”
Pete Townshend of The Who reportedly talked to Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder to offer him advice based on The Who’s similar tragedy.
“There I was in a fetal position, basically, and Pete said, ‘You can handle this,'” Vedder said. “And I said, ‘I can’t.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know, Pete, I don’t think I can. I’m losing it.’ And he said, ‘No, you can handle this.”
Love Parade techno music festival in 2010
More than 1.4 million people reportedly showed up to attend this festival in Duisburg, Germany, which featured multiple DJs spinning techno music.
A reported surge in 2010 ended in 21 people dead following the stampede with more than 500 people injured.
CNN reported at the time that the festival’s organizers had expected only 700,000 to 800,000 attendees and an additional event site had to be open to accommodate the overflow.
Ghost Ship fire in 2016
An underground electronic music party held in a warehouse in Oakland, California in December 2016 turned deadly after a fire trapped and killed 36 of those in attendance.
Investigators found that the building was missing several safety features including smoke alarms and of the warehouse’s exits had been blocked.
The building was being used as an art collective and in January 2021 the leaseholder, Derick Almena, pleaded guilty to 36 charges of involuntary manslaughter.
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