SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah teen shared his story of survival after attending the deadly Travis Scott concert with his friends.
Aiden Andrade says he’d planned to go to the concert six months in advance, but didn’t expect the night to end with multiple people killed.
“Everyone is already pushed up against each other and this was before the concert even started. There was no room to move for these people, so they were just stuck in this big crowd, trying to get out,’ said Andrade.
Aiden says he tried to direct people out, but there was no way to move through the sea of people. At one point, he says he and other concert goers helped to move an unconscious man out on a stretcher. He later learned that man passed away.
Death by crowd surge isn’t something new, unfortunately. What happened at the Astroworld festival is something Utah experienced 30 years ago.
Back in 1991, three people died at an AC/DC concert at the old Salt Palace Arena.
Paul Murphy, a music lover himself, was a reporter at the time of that tragedy and says it’s an example of history repeating itself.
“It’s sad to think it’s happening again, we learn our lessons, we ease up, and then things get dangerous again and people get killed," said Murphy. "50,000 people without a seat, and squishing toward the stage, there’s really no way to stop that crowd."
Murphy believes it’s up to the artist, the security, and the concert promoter to ensure safety. He also says people need to be aware of their surroundings to make sure they’re safe, because the people in charge may not be doing enough.
Beau Babka, the COO of Panther Security, has been working concerts for decades. He says these situations become very dynamic, very quickly, and that general admission is especially dangerous.
“If that control goes, then do you have a plan to take care of it? In a rushed situation like that, with thousands of people pushing forward, you can’t put enough security guards in front to stop anybody,” said Babka.
Babka says you can have a great concert experience without having to be underneath the performer.
“How much closer do you have to be to the stage?”