Many similarities between 1991 Utah AC/DC concert and Astroworld Festival

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Another child is dead following the chaotic events that unfolded at November 5th’s Astroworld Festival in Houston. 

The latest victim is a 9-year-old boy, Ezra Blount. The boy had been in a medically-induced coma in an attempt to overcome brain, liver, and kidney trauma, according to a statement from the family attorney Ben Crump.

“You know you’re squishing all these people in there just to make the money, but is it worth the risk of people dying?” said Mike Greenhog.

Greenhog attended the 1991 AC/DC concert in Salt Lake City and spoke with ABC4 about the aftermath in the days following. During Travis Scott’s performance concertgoers said they were crushed, trampled, and struggled to breathe as the packed crowd surged toward the stage.

As of Nov. 15th, more than 100 lawsuits have been filed, suing the event’s producer, Live Nation. The death toll is at 10, while hundreds are still injured from the Astroworld Festival.

“You can’t waive and sign a contract saying, ‘I agree that I could possibly die at this concert,'” said Utah attorney Clayton Simms.

The Astroworld Festival draws parallels to what happened at a 1991 AC/DC concert in Salt Lake City. In that instance, three people died after the crowd rushed toward the stage. One 14-year-old died the same day and two others (14, 19) died in the days following.

The two concerts had different performers at different venues but unfortunately, it had the same outcome. Reports said during AC/DC’s 1991 concert at the Salt Palace, the band had just started playing their iconic song, “Thunderstruck” when thousand of people rushed the stage.

In the aftermath, three teenagers died. The band kept playing after concert-goers called for them to stop due to the chaos.

“As the concert goes on and people are getting excited and hyped, they move toward the stage which is where they want to be closer to the stage,” said Simms, “The energy is there, but that’s also where the danger is.”

The danger was also there for the Astroworld Festival.  Simms said there could be many people held responsible.

“Travis Scott and Drake could be partly responsible and then the layout could be partly responsible and lack of access to ambulances or emergency medical care could be a part of it,” said Simms.

But at the end of the day, Simms said lessons need to be learned.

“Money can’t bring back someone’s life,” said Simms. “That’s what’s sad, but it can discipline and punish corporations and businesses and they can correct that problem.”

The outcry after the 1991 AC/DC concert was the same as the 2021 Astroworld Festival.

“All of the sudden, the crowd reacted and went rushing toward the stage, which is what they always do because it’s general admission,” said Greenhog. “You can’t really stop that, so a lot of people get really squished tight to the front.”

At this time there is no criminal case in the Astroworld Festival and there is no indication there will be. The problem with festivals involves large groups of people traveling from location to location for several hours.

Meanwhile, at a concert, people typically stay in the same spot throughout the show. Concert-goers worried about this issue should always be aware of their surroundings.

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