Pitbull concert at UT Austin leaves 3 injured during SEC celebration

A big celebration at UT Austin ended with several people going to the hospital. Police said there was a crowd crush during the Pitbull concert.

Sunday night's event, celebrating UT's transition to the Southeastern Conference (SEC), attracted thousands to campus. Among those in the crowd was Santiago Barrachina.

"I mean, it was phenomenal. There were dozens of people out there just having the best time of their lives," said Barrachina.

The gathering included drone flights above campus displaying the UT and SEC logos. Singer Pitbull was featured as the headline act. The closest viewing location for the show was along the UT Plaza and UT Mall. 

Those spots, FOX 7 was told, were limited to people with a UT student ID. Its estimated 50,000 attended, and at one point, the situation was just too much for Angelica Garcia and her family.

"We were on the right before the steps to where it was gated. So, we did get to see the pushing and shoving, and that's when we decided to move out," said Garcia.

To escape the crowd and see the stage, some people climbed into trees. 

In a social media post, Austin-Travis County EMS reported three people were taken to the hospital. One person was hurt in a crowd crush and two others were because of medical issues. 

FOX 7 was told St. David’s had medical teams on site during the concert. A spokesperson declined to provide information about how many people received medical care during the event. Officials with Ascension did not respond to FOX 7’s request regarding how many people from the concert were treated at the Dell Medical Center ER.

Concert crowd control can quickly unravel. In 2014, at a SXSW event, Tyler the Creator was accused of inciting a riot. And in 2021, at a Travis Scott concert in Houston, 10 people were crushed to death. History repeating itself was a concern for Shane Bean.

"Oh, yeah. I think that was on everyone's minds, right? You know that it's barricaded. Your shoulder to shoulder with everyone, but. Yeah. No, it was a good time, though," said Bean.


If there is another type of celebration, Bean offered this suggestion.

"It would have been nice if they had more of a plan with that many people showing up. It just seemed like they barricaded the place and let people in, I guess. Yeah, maybe a little bit more forethought about having so many people come in," said Bean.

The South Mall and UT lawn, according to Alejandra Lugo, are too small for a similar free concert venue.

"I would say to have it at a more open area where people can walk freely in and out of the crowd, because that's a problem that you can have when anyone can be invited to an open-area free concert," Lugo said. "I think they should also be providing more water around like easily accessible to those more in the middle."

During the concert, Pitbull reportedly pointed out a person in distress to medics, but he did not mention the incident in a social media post he made Monday morning. 

Officials with UT declined to issue a statement.