On Nov. 5, 2021, the Astroworld Festival turned into a disaster. As Travis Scott was performing on stage the crowd of 50,000 people started to push and try and move to the front of the barricade, but the story doesn’t stop there.
After the concert eight people were confirmed deceased at the scene, the youngest being 14 and the oldest being 27 years old. Hundreds of people are in the hospital from injuries or are in critical condition. John Hilgert 14, Brianna Rodriguez 16, Jacob Jurinek 20, Axel Acosta Avila 21, Franco Patino 21, Madison Dubiski 23, Rodolfo Peña 23, and Danish Baig 27, these were the victims who lost their lives during the concert. Five more people have been admitted into the ICU after the festival and are fighting for their lives. One of those, 9-year-old Ezra Blount, died a week after the concert.
Travis Scott, the event organizers and the fans are at fault for this tragedy. Scott has built a toxic fan base and his concerts since 2015 have been violent but not to the severity of Houston. The event organizers are supposed to have multiple back-up plans for any situation and in the worst case, they were supposed to stop the show, but they didn’t. The one time Travis did stop the show it was because he saw someone passed out and then continued singing. If he was able to see the one fan passed out, he could see the in the crowd that there were a hand full of other people passed out or deceased especially since there were ambulances trying to make their way into the crowd.
The crowd is the issue also. People are so desensitized now that it’s become natural to pull out our phones and record people; passed out, injured, dead, or about to pass out, it didn’t matter. The recording went on. 50,000 people were trying to make their way to the front of the barricade and the result of that has left nine people dead. Some of Travis’ fans have spoken out on social media that people don’t know how to rage at a concert, and blaming victim’s injuries on themselves.
However, Travis has be arrested before for “suspicion of inciting a riot.” The first arrest was in 2015 after Lollapalooza and the second being in 2018 after a concert. His behavior of not stopping the performance has encouraged his fans to continue to act this way throughout the years and, as his fan base has gotten bigger, the crowd gets more violent.
People were squished together to the point where they could not breath and if they had their hands up recording they couldn’t bring them down because there wasn’t enough room anymore. The videos surfacing on social media showing people who needed help are awful. This isn’t just Travis’ fans, it’s everyone. People have become so reactive to pulling out their phones when people they don’t know are hurt or even taking their last breath, and then posting it just to get views and likes on social media. This is blatantly ignorant and needs to stop.
There needs to be accountability and justice for the people who lost their lives and are fighting to stay alive still now. Travis and his team need to be held accountable for not preventing or helping the situation. The performer needs to control the fans, and if they don’t get them under control, then end the concert.
Social media needs to demonetize the videos that were posted and take them down. It’s dehumanizing to leave them up.
This concert tragedy was a preventable atrocity and for future concerts everyone involved needs to make sure it never happens again.