ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) — An Orlando resident was in the middle of the massive crowd that turned into a stampede at Astroworld in Houston, Texas. Eight people died and dozens were injured at the festival.
Twenty-year-old Kidzya Rodriguez said she’s not sure if she can attend another festival or concert after her experience.
“My mom was like this is the first and last time you’re ever going to something like this just because of everything that happened,” Rodriguez said. “After what I went through and what I saw I don’t think I would be able [to go to one] at least not right now.”
Rodriguez dreamed of going to the Astroworld festival since 2018 after being a longtime fan of rapper Travis Scott.
“My friends, my family and everyone knew how excited I was to go and to see him perform,” she said.
It was her first time attending a festival and she met up with some of her friends who also bought tickets.
“[Security] had set up the fences so there were like lines to go through and people were just cutting through,” Rodriguez said.
Around 10 a.m. is when Rodriguez noticed a large crowd had forced security to shut down the merchandise line she was standing in. She then made her way to a stage to watch one of the opening act performances.
“I tried to get my way as close as I could because I’m five feet tall,” Rodriguez said. “People were just going crazy like pushing and shoving and you kept getting pushed left and right.”
Rodriguez claimed her spot in front of the main stage later that evening waiting on Scott’s scheduled performance. She said as soon as the rapper came out, things were out of control.
“People were pushing and pushing,” she said. “I could not move, I could not breathe, and I kept saying ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.'”
At one point, she found herself passing out in the middle of the crowd.
“I’m recording and all of a sudden my phone goes down and you just see like my hand on someone’s back,” Rodriguez said. “I’m traumatized from seeing people pass out next to me.”
The 20-year-old said she was lucky to escape the crowd especially after learning the next day that eight people died at the festival.
It makes me feel guilty,” she said. “I went in there trying to have the best day of my life; the best experience ever and just knowing that this happened – people were injured, people died [and] there was a point were that honestly could’ve been me.”
The festival promoter Live Nation said in a statement Monday, that it is “working on ways to support attendees, the families of victims, and staff” by providing mental health counseling and will help with hospital costs.