On Friday, Nov 5, Travis Scott held his two day festival, Astroworld, in Houston, Texas. The event led to 9 people dead and 300 injured.
Astroworld, founded by Travis Scott in 2018, is a two-day festival in Houston, Texas. It is named after Scott’s 2018 album Astroworld and takes place on the Six Flags Astroworld grounds.
The Astroworld Music Festival has been a huge success since its first annual show in 2018. This year was thought to be no different, but that was not the case.
Friday, Nov. 5 was the first day of the festival. At around 2 p.m., a mob of people charged at the entrances and ran past the security checkpoint. In a video taken by an ABC13 cameraman, people were trampling over each other and running past security. There were about 50,000 attendees, as stated in an article by NPR.
Scott wasn’t set to start performing until around 9:00 p.m., but according to a statement put out by the Houston Police Department, Scott knew about the security and safety concerns.
“I met with Travis Scott and his head of security for a few moments last Friday prior to the main event. I expressed my concerns regarding public safety and that in my 31 years of law enforcement experience I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens of all ages,” said Police Chief Troy Finner. “The meeting was brief and respectful, and a chance for me to share my public safety concerns as Chief of Police.”
Even with these safety concerns, the festival was not canceled.
In a video posted to TikTok by the creator imanbtw, she explains how as the time got closer to Scott’s appearance on stage, more and more people would push to the front to the point where people could barely move.
As a result of this, it made it hard to breathe. Multiple people in the audience were reported to have passed out, most likely from dehydration and not getting enough oxygen. Paramedics tried getting to those who needed help, but since everyone was so compact, it made it hard to reach or move them.
A total of nine people died and 300 were injured, according to an article by CNN. Scott has stated that he will be paying for their funerals.
“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night… Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life,” said Scott on his twitter account the day after the event.
There has been controversy on social media about whether Scott could have stopped the performance. One side says he had the power to stop the show to get the injured help while the other side says he couldn’t see or hear everything going on in the crowd.
“I think the response was the most shocking… It was so careless,” said Paris Merritt, sophomore speech pathology major. “People were clearly screaming and he didn’t listen, it’s so ignorant.”
This is not Scott’s first time dealing with an unruly and unsafe crowd. According to an article by CNN, Scott has a history of telling his fans to charge the stage, and that’s what happened at the 2015 Lollapalooza festival.
Nobody was hurt in that situation, but Scott pled guilty shortly after for misdemeanor reckless conduct. The second time he was arrested was at a 2017 performance where he was “charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, and endangering the welfare of a minor.” He once again told his fans to charge the stage and ignore security.
He pled guilty to disorderly conduct and paid two people over $6,000 for their injuries. Also in 2017, a fan jumped off a balcony at his show and is now partially paralyzed.
Since the event, 100 lawsuits have been filed against Scott. The results remain to be seen.
Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons.