An overlooked issue: Crowd surges in concerts


Meeting new people, spending time with friends, mostly good food, and amazing music! If it looks like a good and enjoyable experience, why is it deemed such a scary thing? Well, that is probably because it is. The hazards that music festivals expose visitors to set them apart from other events. Nearly as long as a festival’s musical schedule is on the list of potential injuries. These gatherings are also frequented by criminal activity.

There have been a series of serious issues with social events in the past, and it needs to be addressed. Many of the incidents happen because of overcrowding, for instance, there was a fair happens in South Korea and more than 150 people were killed in that social event due to overcrowding.

According to, 32 million people attend at least one U.S. music festival each year. Over a 10-year period, nearly 70,000 people were seriously injured and 232 people died at approximately 300 outdoor music concerts.

These gatherings can attract thousands, if not tens of thousands, of attendees on average. Having that many people together can lead to both fun times and calamity. A volatile environment is created by crowds, drug and alcohol usage, high levels of excitement, the effect of music and performers, exposure to the elements, and unsafe conduct including mosh pits and crowd diving.

One big prime example that is very well known is the Travis Scott concert that took place a little over a year ago on November 5, 2021. At Houston, Texas a little after 9 o’clock. Rapper Travis Scott had just entered the stage at the Astroworld Festival, which attracted 50,000 attendees. The audience surged and pressed forward toward the platform as if it had a life of its own. But suddenly the vigor became wild. People were collapsing. Trampled underfoot were people. Many people died that evening. A 9-year-old boy who was crushed by the mob after falling off his father’s shoulders passed away from his wounds roughly a week after being put into a medically induced coma. Another victim, a 22-year-old college student, died from her wounds a few days later. 

There are so many other instances. These kinds of things happen all around the world. One was extremely recent and it took place about 14 hours away from the US.

On October 29, 2022, at around 10:20 pm emergency officials reported that a big throng celebrating Halloween pushed into an alley in a nightlife area of the South Korean capital Seoul on Saturday night, killing at least 150 people, mostly teens and young adults in their early 20s.

A 2018 iSchool graduate named Daisy Mendoza, who currently lives in Korea, was at this particular Halloween gathering, and here’s her experience:

“Every year on Halloween it’s like a tradition for a lot of people to go to the gathering and dress up. And they just walk around and dress up.

But for the last 2 years, it was restricted due to Covid. This was the first time that there were no covid restrictions, so that’s mostly why were a lot more people. and there was no crowd control, a lot of people already knew that there was going to be very crowded. So then me and my friends went there at around  8:00 because we wanted to avoid a lot of people, but even though we go there early there were still a lot of people there.

At one point I even got anxious because of the number of people who were already kind of pushing and shoving. But I and my friends went into a club because our plan was to just go inside and avoid the heard of people.

And so we went inside the club and we were there until Like 10:30, and I decided to step out with my friend who needed to call her boyfriend, and when we came out that there were like barricades and we were very concerned at the time so we started asking around like ‘oh what’s happening’ because they hadn’t told us anything in the club, they just texted us saying you’re you in… you should leave.

And then that’s when we saw that there was blood on the floor and we were like what’s happening and were panicking mostly because of our lack of knowledge at the time. After asking around someone told us ´oh I’m not sure but apparently, people got hurt´ and then others were saying that ´people got killed.´ And then we asked, ´how did they die´ and they were saying how they were getting crushed because of the number of people.

We were on one of the bigger ally’s ways but we were nearby. only like 1-2 streets away from where it had actually occurred. As we were leaving you could hear the ambulances and a bunch of cops. My friend was looking at me and it was me my 3 friends and my boyfriend, and I was just very panicky. And I was on the verge of tears and while we were walking down the streets where the accident took place, my friend, was like don’t look ahead, close your eyes, and I asked why and she said there were dead bodies on the floor. then I closed my eyes and my friends walked me through all of the dead bodies that were there. When we got out of the street and there was just a bunch of people trying to go home it took us a while to get a taxi but we finally got one and what had happened didn’t really hit us until we got home and actually found out what happens because when were there almost no one knew what was actually going on.

All of it was very hard to take in at first because  if we had changed one thing about what we did that day we could have ended up severely injured or even dead.” 

There were so many people and families that had to suffer because of this sad inconvenience.

Lola Hollander, a freshman at iSchool, also has her own experiences with being in excessively crowded social events: “I went to a globe citizens concert and in that one its more like you pick and you run up to the front of the stage, and we did because we wanted to see people but I was like really really crowded and it was really hot and it was just a bad experience.”

Here’s the big question. What can we do to make social events safer? Well, the answer is sadly not much. It’s hard to find a solution for something like this, but they still exist. 

I think that the organizer should make sure that there’s a lot of medical help nearby, they should also have lot more security and crowd control that be able to help maintain this kind of stuff from happening.

There isn’t really much we can do to help but hope in the soon future we can find out ways to ensure that overcrowding doesn’t happen.