BY NOAH SORIA
A weekend that was supposed to be full of thrills and good times, turned into a tragedy that changed live performances forever.
After roughly 18 months of no live concerts or festivals, music fans all over the country have been waiting to see their favorite acts live. Travis Scott’s 2021 Astroworld festival changed future music-related gatherings forever.
Ten individuals were killed and hundreds harmed at Travis Scott’s Astroworld live event in Houston, Texas, at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5, after concert attendees flooded toward the stage around 9:30 p.m. during the rapper’s featured set. Around 50,000 individuals attended the show, which was the main cause of certain individuals being stomped on according to specialists.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen similar occurrences where fans have perished at concerts or festivals like this before. However, this is different, for many reasons.
It’s different because this was an artist-ran event, which made it easier to blame one person. This was run by not just any artist, but a Grammy-nominated rapper with endorsements from brands like McDonald’s, Nike, Sony, and Fortnite, among many others. Travis Scott is at his peak, which makes everything about this tragedy that much bigger.
Fans passing out & being hospitalized for severe injuries at Travis Scott shows are a thing of the norm. It’s been documented in the 2019 Netflix documentary, Travis Scott: “Look Mom I Can Fly.” During the duration of the documentary, you can see and hear Travis Scott encouraging the rowdiness from his fans, in the same manner, he did at Astroworld this year. Travis Scoot is known for referring to his fans as “ragers”.
Travis Scott will see an abundance of lawsuits in the coming months. The question at hand is how much of this tragedy is Travis Scott’s fault? The Houston Native has been scrutinized for not stopping the show, however, a recently surfaced activities plan for the live event uncovers there were just two individuals who had the power to stop the show. Those two people are the executive producer and festival director. In contrast to that activities plan, the Houston Fire Chief, Samuel Peña said “Everyone at the event [had] a responsibility to ensure the crowd’s safety, including Travis Scott, who was on stage during the majority of the maliciousness happening in the crowd.”
Performing in front of 50,000 people, and spotting injuries in the crowd is a difficult thing to do. Spotting an ambulance driving through the crowd, and acting like everything is okay, is almost inexcusable. On top of that, provoking your fans to rush towards the stage among other things, it is quite hard to defend Travis Scott. Is it all his fault though? I believe it’s not. It was a team effort, and his team lost significantly. The lack of security, the lack of medical staff, and the lack of overall preparation for 50,000 attendees at a music festival are all causes of this tragedy.
Being in the middle of the hip-hop festival season, hip-hop fans who have bought tickets to Day N Vegas, Rolling Loud California, or Coachella, may second guess going. Rightfully so, however, this tragedy will have the rest of these festivals not taking any chances. Therefore, establishing a safer experience for music lovers everywhere is pivotal to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.