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‘That could’ve happened to any of us’ | Missouri resident shares frightening experience at ‘Astroworld’

By Gabriela Vidal, News 4 Reporter

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    HILLSBORO, Missouri (KMOV) — Hillsboro resident Taylor Noack was at the ‘Astroworld’ festival when chaos erupted Friday night in Houston, Texas.

“My sister, she’s pretty shaken up about it. My mom is pretty shaken up about it. My boyfriend as well,” Noack said. “We just don’t really know how to feel at the moment.”

A crowd surge at a Houston music festival on Friday crushed concertgoers as they were left trampled and gasping for air, struggling to survive against a wall of people pressing forward toward the stage.

Noack told News 4 she was with her family and some friends in the crowd when people began shoving one another, rushing to get towards the stage.

“Whenever Travis Scott and Drake came out, that’s when everything just went down,” she recalled. “Everyone kept falling and falling on top of each other to where they couldn’t get up. [At] that point it was just bad.”

The scene escalated to people jumping on top of golf carts and dozens being trampled over. “I would say I was about maybe 50 feet away from them,” she said. “I saw people being carried out; I saw unconscious people.”

It would not be until Saturday that Noack and her group learned eight concertgoers died in the crowd. “That could have been any of us. That could’ve happened to any of us,” she said. “We were very concerned, and we just hope that the families can get the peace they deserve, and that all the artists can pay for their expenses as well.”

Noack told News 4 she does not blame the artists for what happened. She said there could have been more security and responders to mitigate the crowd, but concertgoers also had a responsibility not to let the situation escalate. “I think the blame should be on everyone who kept pushing and would not help each other pick each other up,” said Noack.

Astroworld now joins other deadly concert crowd tragedies Festival goers are seen on day one of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston, Texas.

“A situation like this one in ‘Astroworld’ that seems to have happened where they rushed the stage, it can be a problem in most any size venue,” said Patrick Hagin, the Managing Partner at the Pageant and Delmar Hall in St. Louis.

He said both venues use a tiered floor set up to create natural breaks throughout the crowd and make it easier for concertgoers to see. It is something he hopes more places will adopt in the wake of incidents like ‘Astroworld’ for a safer concert experience. “It baffles me that I continue to see new venues built with flat floors,” said Hagin.

No matter what the venue looks like, however, Hagin said it is imperative to have an escape plan if you are in danger at any large-scale event. “That’s not to say you need to be solely focused on that, but at least have it in the back of your mind where you’re looking to where the exits, you’re looking to where a safe place may be if something does happen,” he said.

Of the eight people who died at ‘Astroworld,’ the youngest was just 14. Twenty-five people were hospitalized. The tragedy is now making people like Noack rethink how she will enjoy concerts from now on.

“I think my next concerts I’m definitely going to just stay on the outside. Kind of just watch from afar instead of getting up in the chaos,” she said, “in case any of that stuff were to happen again.”

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