Staff at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival were told to call potential dead concertgoers “smurfs,” according to an event planning document authored by concert organizers Scoremore.
The Event Operations Plan for the two-day concert series at NRG Park in Houston, Texas, instructs staff to never use the terms “dead” or “deceased” over the radio.
Instead, Scoremore told concert staff to use the code word “smurf” to describe suspected deceased concertgoers.
The planning document was first reported by CNN and was drafted before the concert was held.
A later part of the document includes a black text box with white lettering advising staff in all caps: “All efforts should be made to not panic spectators. Let event continue if threat is not in their area.”
Scott’s performance turned deadly on Friday as fans surged toward the stage, crushing spectators.
Eight people — including a 14-year-old and a pair of best friends — died in the crowd surge, authorities have said. Hundreds more — including a boy currently on life support — were injured in the mayhem.
Brent Taylor, a spokesperson for the Houston Mayor’s office, said that the use of the word “smurf” in this document is “operational.”
Taylor said he has heard the term used “secondhand” before, but referred further questions to Scoremore.
Scoremore, Live Nation, and Scott’s representatives did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.