August 20, 1988 is one of the most memorable days in my life. However, this weekend’s stampede during a Travis Scott concert brings it back to my consciousness.

On that day, I was in a crush at a Guns N’ Roses concert where two people were killed and 34 more were injured.

My experience with the disaster that struck at Texas’ Astroworld Festival on Saturday (where at least 8 people were killed and many more injured) has been brought back to me. 

The names of the dead and injured at Astroworld are not yet known, but we do know the names of the two young men who died at the Monsters of Rock Festival in Castle Donington in Leicestershire, England – Alan Dick, 18, and Landon Siggers, 20. 

Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses performing live onstage at Monsters Of Rock 1988 in Castle Donington. Two people were killed in a crush during their set

Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses performs live at Monsters Of Rock 1988, Castle Donington. Two people died in an accident during the set.

A crowd scene from Donington Rock Festival in August 1988, where two people were killed in a crush

Scene from the Donington Rock Festival, August 1988. Two people died in an accident.

It was my first time attending an outdoor concert, and I was thrilled. 

An overnight ferry and bus from southwest Ireland to London were my options. Then another bus took me to Castle Donington. This festival was at a track with a natural slope.

With only one tape from a traveler playing the audio system, the bus was stuck in traffic for several hours. 

The first acts had already finished by the time we reached the venue. It was fine, the main acts were there. I saw Guns N’ roses (who came on at mid-afternoon because they were still climbing up), Kiss and David Lee Roth. Iron Maiden were the headliner.

I was at a hard rock/heavy metal festival, which was my favorite music of all time. 

I was wrong to expect a Woodstock-style hippie vibe. Some of the people were incredibly rude. 

The back group was seen urinating into plastic bottles, then throwing the contents in the crowd. Their friends would encourage them to target specific individuals. The two of them laughed so hard at their ridiculousness. 

A graphic video showed an unconscious young man surrounded by Houston police officers as they guided him onto the ground in the middle of the crowd

Scott was seen in the background as he continued to perform from a platform feet above the crowd

Left: Houston Police officers surrounded an unconscious youth as they helped him to the ground. Right: Scott was visible in the background, as Scott performed from a platform above the crowd. They placed the man on his side and shined light into his eyes.

I followed a circular route to get as close as I could in front of them – beyond the range of my bottle throwers.

About 25 rows back from the barrier, before Guns N’Roses came on, was I.

It was starting to get tighter, but it’s a large guy and I was okay with that. 

‘Don’t f**king kill each other,’ he said at one point. 

I tried to escape, but could not. I was completely hemmed in from all sides. I could not move.

Then, suddenly, there was an enormous surge back. Within seconds I had been carried for 10m. My feet never touched the ground. 

There was another surge ahead, although not quite as rapid. I was terrified for my life but there wasn’t much I could do except try to stay upright. 

However, the concert was stopped briefly. A crowd split to allow the ambulance into their homes. It looked terrible.

Steven Adler (then-Guns N’ Roses drummer) recalled that the Donington Show haunted his dreams more than 20 years later in My Appetite For Destruction. 

It was an absolute madhouse. He wrote that more than 100,000 children were jamming up against the front.

Bruce Dickinson of headliners Iron Maiden appealed for calm during the band's set at Castle Donington in 1988. Two young men had already been killed during the Guns N' Roses set earlier that day

Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, the headliners, appealed for peace during the band’s 1988 set at Castle Donington. Two teenagers had been murdered during Guns N Roses’ set that day.

Guns N' Roses' drummer Steven Adler said of the band's August 1988 show at Castle Donington 'Everyone was so out of control that we had to stop the show several times'

Guns N’ Roses’ drummer Steven Adler said of the band’s August 1988 show at Castle Donington ‘Everyone was so out of control that we had to stop the show several times’

He claimed that there were “hundreds” of these urine-filled plastic bottles flying over the crowd. The pee was sprayed everywhere and people were getting shot in the heads.

He continued, “Everyone was such a mess that we had no choice but to end the show multiple times. People kept running up and down the stage.” Axl asked for the audience to slow down and then get up.

Numerous fans were trampled as the crowd grew. The crowd surged and security officers struggled to get through it all.

After thinking the situation was resolved Guns N’ roses released another song. Then tragedy struck. One of the young men was crushed to death in the mud, and one fell unconscious.

Adler said that people were being crushed in front of the stage.

“But it wasn’t until the following day, after Concorde flew back to the US,” we were informed that two of our children were murdered during our set.

They were literally trampled to their death. I was left shell-shocked. Null. It was unbelievable.

Although I didn’t get hurt, my headache was severe. I tried to get painkillers at the St John’s Ambulance tent. 

It was hard to believe that I actually felt sick when I saw the number of people suffering from broken bones and other severe injuries in the tent. 

Two young men died in an altercation at Castle Donington Monsters Rock in 1988.

The show was on again. Bruce Dickinson (the headline act Iron Maiden) kept asking fans to slow down during the performance and ask them to take two steps back. 

Although it was an excellent show, I have often wondered if the actor knew that there were two dead people.

What I discovered was that my bus to London couldn’t be found. There were many coaches available to transport people from one place to another. The concert attracted 107,000 people, but there was only one stage. 

Devastated at the thought of being abandoned, I asked the driver from another company bus if he could take me to London. 

He said: ‘Two kids died. These children might have been in the bus. You can hop in.

This was an awful way to discover what had happened. Then, I was done with heavy music. Never have I felt a sense of finality like this before.    

It has always been a surprise to me that they were the same age as I was. That crush was mine. Maybe it was me. They were the ones who did it.

Now that I am middle-aged, my fear of large crowds is still a concern. However, they’re always young and twenty-something.

RIP Alan Dick, Landon Siggers and all the victims of Astroworld Festival.