On Friday, Nov. 15 rapper Travis Scott held his second annual Astroworld Festival in NRG Park in Houston. This event had a huge lineup with artists like Travis Scott, Don Toliver, Lil Baby, and Young Thug, but also branched out beyond hip-pop this year with artists like Tame Impala, Earth, Wind, and Fire and Bad Bunny headlining the second night of the two-day event.
Day two of Astroworld never happened. The aftermath of the first night left ten people dead, many still in the hospital fighting for their lives, hundreds of people injured, and a city and fanbase in shambles.
With this tragic event being covered all over mainstream news and social media, a lot about Travis Scott’s past shows have made people question if he really does care about fan safety. Travis Scott shows are known for their crazy environment with the pyrotechnics, mosh pits and overall insanity. With that type of environment, safety protocols should be put in place for everyone in attendance. Travis has pled guilty twice on concert-related charges in his career.
In 2015, Scott told the crowd at Lollapalooza to go over the barriers. One of those crazed fans tried to steal the shoes off his feet, which in reaction, Travis told the crowd to jump him. When security kicked him out Scott also spat on the fan.
In 2018, Travis had a show in Arkansas where he told his fans to rush to the front of the general admission when the area was already tightly packed. Although no one died or was injured in either event, Travis was charged with public disorderly conduct and inciting a riot.
But these events were unlike Astroworld in the sense that people’s lives were ended. The eight victims were ages 14 to 27 who died from a crowd crush that caused cardiac arrest. There is also evidence and eyewitnesses saying people were going around the concert injecting people in the crowd. One of the security guards who lost his life was found with an injection wound in his neck.
Forty lawsuits have been filed against Travis, and things look worse as time goes by as a ninth victim died in the hospital on Nov. 11 and more and more are coming out on how scary Astroworld was. On Nov. 14. a nine-year-old who attended Astroworld died from injuries in the hospital. This makes the total number of deaths ten.
With all the tragedies, who is to blame and what could have been done to prevent this? As much as I love Travis Scott and his music, he was in the wrong to keep his performance going for an additional 30 minutes after he was informed of the show being a mass casualty event, along with people in the crowd screaming “stop the show”.
He doubled down on not seeming to have a genuine care for how he messed up. What he called his “apology” was a post on his Instagram story talking about what happened at Astroworld. The video came off as him trying to fake emotion and has become more of a joke in the music community.
Live Nation is also someone to point the finger at. Astroworld was so poorly unstaffed and unprepared to the point where workers were risking their lives to try to help in any little way they possibly could. Security and staff were a huge reason the event was so overpopulated. Thousands of people snuck in and tore down fences to be able to get in and there was little to nothing security could do to stop them.
One thing is clear, Travis does not deserve a pass for what happened at Astroworld.