DENVER (CBS4) – Jesse Dahl and his 9-year-old son, Christiano, are grateful to be back home in Denver, safe and sound. They flew to Houston last weekend to enjoy one of his son's favorite artists, Travis Scott, at Astroworld, having no idea it would end in tragedy.
"What an adventure at the airport! My son is sooooo excited, his first plane ride! Astroworld here we come!" Dahl wrote in a Facebook post.
Videos show the pair happily enjoying a rollercoaster ride when they arrived at Astroworld, just hours before the concert began. Dahl said they'd been looking forward to their trip for months.
"It was billed all-ages, and half of it was a carnival for kids," Dahl told CBS4's Mekialaya White via Zoom.
At around 7 p.m., before the concert was set to start, Dahl said they got closer to the stage in anticipation of Scott's performance.
"My son and I went to the front we were just standing there to take pictures. I told him I didn't feel comfortable because if it gets too crowded there's no way we're going to get out. It just felt a little off, to be honest."
Dahl says he was able to get to an elevated, private area. Then, a short time later, a crowd surged the stage and things turned dangerous.
"Four hundred or 500 people just rushed in, and about 20 police officers on horses came in. People's arms were pinned up, and it wasn't because they were celebrating. It was so they could have room so they could breathe. They were just cramped up, barricaded in, it's just like they're trapped and nobody could get out. And people just start jumping the railings, they're just jumping left and right."
He continued to recount the scene, "There was a gentleman laying on the ground, they had his shirt ripped open and at that point his face was already blue. So, I don't know how long he was unconscious, they had two people doing compressions. We didn't know that it was as bad as it was."
The concert ended abruptly. He says since then, he's had severe anxiety and even PTSD, but it's healing to talk about it. Dahl says an event that was supposed to be fun, shouldn't have ended how it did.
"You didn't have time to digest what was going on. I didn't think that we were in a place where people were losing their lives and desperate to get out."
In the future, Dahl intends to do more research. "I'm definitely going to be more forward-thinking and investigating these artists more."
for more features.