Sterling Heights woman describes experiencing deadly crowd surge at Houston music festival

Rebecca Kallabat says she doesn’t plan to go to concert ever again

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – A Sterling Heights woman spoke to Local 4 about the terrifying circumstances that led to the deaths of eight people at a music festival in Houston.

“There’s a lot of times where I kept saying, ‘Stay on your feet. Stay on your feet. If you don’t stay on your feet, you’re going to fall and then you’re going to die,’” Rebecca Kallabat said. “I remember looking at the performer, and I was, like, ‘Is he looking at us and thinking we’re enjoying this?’”

Kallabat was in the crowd at the packed Houston show, Astroworld Festival, that left eight people dead and many others injured. Cellphone video captured by Kallabat shows just how tight the massive crowd was and how some tried to leave because they simply couldn’t take it.

“When I really noticed it was bad was when Travis Scott was out and everyone was going back and forth,” she said. “I remember looking into people’s eyes, and we were all saying, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t stop. I can’t move.’ It was this fear in everyone’s eyes that we knew something bad was going to happen.”

The reason behind the chaos in the crowd is still unclear. Kallabat said she doesn’t blame the performers, but the event organizers.

“There was no security,” she said. “There was no one telling us what we can or can’t do. Nobody was there to stop us.”

Her heart is with everyone who wasn’t fortunate enough to make it out of the crowd unharmed. Though she has no physical injuries, Rebecca said she has been damaged in other ways.

“It’s hard for me to be in a big crowd now,” Kallabat said. “I’ve never had that fear. I was out this weekend in a crowd of maybe 50 people and I had a panic attack. I’ve never had that happen before. I’ve been thinking about all those that have lost their lives and all the families. It breaks my heart.”

To make matters worse, Kallabat said the crowd was so big that she didn’t find out anyone had died until about a day later. She said for now, she doesn’t plan to go to a concert ever again.

About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.