Astroworld’s plan of operations instructed staff to refer to the dead as “Smurfs”


A plan of operations for the Astroworld 2021 festival – which saw the deaths of 8 spectators, with over 300 others injured – mentioned that potential deceased victims were to be referred to as “smurfs” instead of using the word “dead”, according to CNN.

Friday’s event included a 56-page document for organizers, which detailed concerns about the planned two-day festival.

“Based on the layout of the site and many past experiences, a security plan has been established to help mitigate potential negative issues with the festival,” said the document obtained by CNN. “The potential for multiple alcohol and drug-related incidents, possible evacuation needs and the ever-present threat of a large casualty situation are identified as key concerns. “

The document included plans for possible riots or civil unrest, an active shooter and even weather difficulties, sharing that staff were supposed to tip Event Control about dead bystanders using the code ‘smurf’ – a reference possible at Hanna-Barbera of the 80s. cartoons and comic series of the same name.

“Never use the term ‘dead’ or ‘deceased’ on the radio,” the plan reportedly said.

“In any situation where large groups of people gather, there is a risk of civil unrest / riots which can pose a serious risk to the safety and security of employees and guests,” the document said. “The key to handling this type of scenario well is good crowd management as soon as the doors open.”

The plan indicates that the executive producer and the festival director are the only people authorized to stop the concert.

“It doesn’t even really show up in what is the equivalent of Astroworld’s crowd management plan,” Paul Wertheimer, founder and president of Crowd Management Strategies, told CNN. “There is no reference to the influx of crowds, the crushing of the crowd, the panic of the crowd. There is no reference to the front of the stage and the spectators of the festival. And therefore, there is no specific contingency planning for a large casualty crowd crush event. “


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