10 people died at the Astroworld music festival two years ago. What happens now?

Jul 29, 2023, 11:09 AM

Nearly two years after 10 people were crushed to death during the deadly 2021 Astroworld festival, no charges have been filed — even though some people, including event workers, expressed safety concerns.

Pinpointing “who exactly caused those deaths is not an easy question to answer,” said Sandra Guerra Thompson, a criminal law professor at the University of Houston Law Center.

“It’s a very difficult thing to say, unless you have some kind of clear evidence that somebody in charge, whose job it was to ensure safety and who should have known better, failed to take action,” she said.

A nearly rapper Travis Scott went onstage.

In the report, investigators wrote that Scott said he did see one person near the stage getting medical attention, but said that overall, the crowd seemed to enjoy the show. He said he did not see any signs of serious problems, nor did he hear anyone tell him to stop the show.

Hip-hop artist Drake, who also performed, told police it was difficult to see from the stage what was going on in the crowd and that he didn’t hear anyone call for the show to stop.

Despite no charges being filed, more than 500 lawsuits have been filed over the deaths and injuries at the concert, including many against concert promoter Live Nation and Scott. Some of those suits have since been settled.

Those who were killed ranged in age from 9 to 27, and all 10 people died due to compression asphyxia, according to medical examiners.


In June, a Texas grand jury declined to indict six people in the case, including Scott. Prosecutors said, then, that the circumstances of the deaths limited what charges they were able to present, eliminating potential counts such as murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

Thompson said the sheer number of people involved in putting on the event, the large scale of it, and the high bar for proving criminal negligence or recklessness are challenges for prosecutors in cases like this.

“It goes back to, who knows what’s going on, is that being communicated?” she said. “Were they being told that people have died, and they still wanted the concert to go on? Or, were they being told that ‘Hey, some people are getting hurt, which might not be that unusual at an event like that?”

Assistant Harris County District Attorney Alycia Harvey said after the grand jury declined to issue indictments that prosecutors were left with only possible counts of endangering a child in connection with the deaths of the two youngest concertgoers, ages 9 and 14.

Scott’s lawyer, Kent Schaffer, has said that the performer was not responsible for the tragedy.

“He never encouraged people to do anything that resulted in other people being hurt,” Schaffer said.


Scott has previously said he was unaware of the deaths until after the show. He has since created what he called Project HEAL, a $5 million initiative that includes funding for an effort to address safety challenges for festivals and large-scale events.

The police report said Scott told investigators that around the time Drake came onstage he was told to end the show after the performance, but that no one told him of an emergency.


Following the tragedy, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott formed a task force to study concert safety, and to recommend crowd control and security measures during mass gathering.

The task force in April 2022 reported that people without tickets entered the outdoor festival area hours before the performances began, overwhelming staff and leading to a variety of injuries. It also concluded that the process for issuing permits for mass gatherings is inconsistent statewide.

The task force recommended creating a command center that is authorized to pause or cancel a show in response to safety concerns.

“Sometimes, sadly, industries learn safety practices following disasters,” said Thompson, the law professor. “The standards for live concerts like this, I would imagine, are going to change.”


Miller reported from Oklahoma City, Willingham reported from Charleston, West Virginia.

United States News

Associated Press

Disneyland character and parade performers in California vote to join labor union

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Disneyland performers who help bring Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and other beloved characters to life at the Southern California resort chose to unionize following a three-day vote culminating on Saturday. The Actors’ Equity Association labor union said in a statement Saturday that cast members for the parades and characters departments at Disney’s […]

3 hours ago

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Dive team finds bodies of 2 men dead inside plane found upside down in Alaska lake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The bodies of two men have been recovered from a plane that was found face down in a lake, Alaska State Troopers said Saturday. Troopers were notified late Friday of the upside-down aircraft in Six Mile Lake near the Athabascan community of Nondalton, located about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

6 people killed, 10 others injured in Idaho when pickup crashes into passenger van

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Six people were killed Saturday in Idaho in a two-car accident that included a large passenger van, authorities said. Ten others were injured in the crash on U.S. Highway 20 in Idaho Falls and taken to local hospitals, Idaho State Police said in a statement. An eastbound pickup crossed the […]

10 hours ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...


Rudy Giuliani served Arizona indictment in alleged scheme to overturn 2020 presidential election results

Attorney Rudy Giuliani was served notice on Friday of his Arizona indictment in the alleged scheme to overturn 2020 presidential election results in former President Donald Trump's favor, according to Kris Mayes, the state's attorney general.

15 hours ago

Associated Press

6 Penn students among 19 pro-Palestinian protesters arrested during attempt to occupy building

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A half-dozen University of Pennsylvania students were among 19 pro-Palestinian protesters arrested during an attempt to occupy a school building, university police said Saturday. Their arrests came a week after authorities broke up a protest encampment on campus and arrested nine students — and as other colleges across the country, anxious to […]

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

10 people died at the Astroworld music festival two years ago. What happens now?