John Fruin, a retired research engineer, wrote in a paper titled "The Causes and Prevention of Crowd Disasters," that individual control is lost in a crush and "one becomes an involuntary part of the mass."
"At occupancies of about 7 persons per square meter the crowd becomes almost a fluid mass. Shock waves can be propagated through the mass sufficient to lift people off of their feet and propel them distances of 3 m (10 ft) or more. People may be literally lifted out of their shoes, and have clothing torn off," Fruin wrote in the paper originally presented in 1993 and revised in 2002.
"Intense crowd pressures, exacerbated by anxiety, make it difficult to breathe. The heat and thermal insulation of surrounding bodies cause some to be weakened and faint. Access to those who fall is impossible. Removal of those in distress can only be accomplished by lifting them up and passing them overhead to the exterior of the crowd."
Fruin wrote that most crowd deaths result from "compressive asphyxia" rather than trampling. He described steel guardrails capable of withstanding a thousand pounds of pressure bent by the "domino effect" of the crowd force.
Saw Jane's Addiction on Coachella 2001 and similar thing. We were up near the front and I felt things getting tight and starting getting claustrophobic. I also had to pee super bad so we bailed, but people ended up getting hurt. Such a creepy feeling when the sound guys cleared the stage and you could feel every one around you squeezing in.I was up front during lollapalooza in Fairfax in 1991. There was a mad push to get closer to the stage when Jane's Addiction opened and people were getting hurt. I was one of them. It was one of the most terrifying things of my life. This guy saw me getting stepped on and face down in the muddy mosh pit and he scooped me up and saved me.
Wonder if they could move to a sick beat back then.back in the middle ages, a well trained warhorse with an equally well trained and well-armoured knight astride it, was considered the most advanced weapon of the entire middle ages, until the arrival of gunpowder (or maybe the famed English and Welsh Archers and their bodkin arrows in the 1300's) But yeah, even a well trained and battle hardened foot soldier is going to have a hard time standing up to 1000 pounds of horse flesh bearing down on him at 30 MPH
Straight Up!Houston local here, this was pretty much a combination of everything that can go wrong.
Usually at large shows you need 2 main stages, everyone was funneled into one area without a good way to escape.
Combine that with them selling 100k tickets, compared to the previous years 75k and the amount of kooks who stormed the gates. I've been to ACL with way more people plenty of times but there was always enough room for the crowd to disperse if need be along with multiple entrances/exits. They usually had two headlining shows as well.
Understaffed security, and when people went down, he paused the show but briefly with music still going.
If you need to stop the show for safety you need to stop the music and let everyone know exactly what's going on.
Read accounts that the EMS was understaffed, poorly trained etc.
Then mix in a crowd of people who are extra aggro after this past 2 years...
Then combine that with Travis himself who is known to promote a wild crowd
He was arrested in 2016 for telling college kids to storm the stage in Arkansas
at another show He told the crowd to beat up some goober who stole his sneakers when he was crowd surfing
Also at another show told some kid to jump from the balcony who is now paralyzed.
So it was a perfect storm.
There was a show in Europe a few years ago that had the same result and it ended with new regulations for shows over a certain size. Pressure plates on the barriers, and better communication between staff, organizers, local pd.