Astroworld Festival Event Staff Instructed to Refer to Potentially Deceased Concertgoers as ‘Smurfs,’ According to Event Plan
A 56-page event plan document for Travis Scott's 2021 Astroworld Festival has leaked, revealing information behind the procedures for his annual Houston concert.
The documents from the 2021 Event Operations Plan (EOP) covers everything from historical background on Astroworld Festival and COVID-19 compliance details to security and disaster protocol.
However, a section in the document details what to do in case of a traumatic injury resulting in death, which instructs staff members to refer to potentially deceased victims as "Smurfs." Additionally, the words "dead" or "deceased" are not allowed to be mentioned over their radio communication system.
"Notify Event Control of a suspected deceased victim utilizing the code 'Smurf.’ Never use the term 'dead' or 'deceased' over the radio," the section reads.
It remains unclear why organizers chose to use the term "Smurf" in these situations.
Furthermore, there appears to be no protocols in place to handle a crowd surge, but personnel are ordered to watch for angry groups or mobs forming. If they see such things they must report such activity to "Event Control," according to the documents.
There is a section of the document for addressing crowd behavior and civil disturbance. In the case of unruly crowd behavior, the plan details "the key in properly dealing with this type of scenario is proper management of the crowd from the minute the doors open." Additionally, "Crowd management techniques will be employed to identify potentially dangerous crowd behavior in its early stages in an effort to prevent a civil disturbance/riot." Those techniques are not explained further in the plan.
The document is earmarked as Version: 0.1, and it is unclear whether a final version of the plan was drafted and sent out to personnel before the opening of the Astroworld Festival.
As previously reported, eight people died—ages ranging between 14 and 27 years old—and more than 20 people were hospitalized following day one of the Astroworld Festival. The second day of the festival was canceled.
According to authorities, the deaths and injuries were caused by a crowd surge, which squeezed people near the stage, causing many to be crushed. An estimated 50,000 people were at the festival.
Following the devastating events, Travis announced that he will be covering all funeral costs for the eight people that died as well as providing additional aid to those affected by the mass casualty that took place last Friday (Nov. 5).
Additionally, Scott has partnered with BetterHelp to offer free one-on-one online therapy, and is working in conjunction with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), MHA National (Mental Health America) and MHA of Greater Houston (Mental Health America) to help those seeking proper mental health services following this tragic day.
Travis Scott is also issuing refunds to all attendees of Astroworld Festival and has canceled his performance at Day N Vegas this Saturday (Nov. 13).