Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival led to mass casualties and has left many individuals questioning how this event came to have to so many losses in the first place. With many individuals placing blame on Travis Scott himself, there are many others that are instead placing blame on others including the festival staff, the EMT staff and the organizers.
The deaths at Astroworld were mainly caused by a phenomenon called “crowd crush.” Crowd crush is when large numbers of people get packed together that it it becomes difficult for them to move singularly, and instead, causes them to create a sort of ripple effect where everybody starts to move each other around and lose control of their movements. When Travis Scott entered the stage, individuals from the back began rushing towards the front, causing those who were already closer to the middle or the front to be crushed or unable to breathe.
Although this story seemed to come out of nowhere, looking back on previous incidents at former Travis Scott concerts, it can be seen that this is not an isolated incident.
In 2015, Travis Scott pleaded guilty to reckless conduct when he encouraged his fans to break barricades and attempt to get onto the stage at Lollapalooza. Only two years after that incident, Scott was sued when a fan became paralyzed at one of his concerts after he was pushed off of a three story balcony.
Scott has a history of allowing his fans to become rowdy and violent at concerts and seems to often enjoy the hectic feeling that comes with his events. However, this one was different and even more dangerous than so many of his events before.
“The concert was hectic from the beginning,” said concertgoer Neema Djavadzadeh in an interview with the New York Times.
From the beginning of the event, individuals who had not bought tickets were storming the arena and getting into the concert. Because of this, and already having an oversold show, it ended up being more packed than anticipated and created an even more dangerous setting.
The concert was not shut down until 10:10 p.m., which was almost forty minutes after the event had already been declared a “mass casualty” event by the city of Houston. Although many people have been questioning why the event was not shut down earlier when news of casualties had already taken place, it was stated by police officials that worries of riots were partially what kept the event going.
“You cannot just close when you’ve got over 50,000 individuals,” said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner in an interview with the New York Times. “We have to worry about rioting with a group that young.”
Astroworld is known as an all-ages show and many of the casualties that took place were young individuals.
Although it seems many things went wrong throughout the event, it also seems that these tragedies were completely avoidable. The planning and organizers responsible for the show did not take the precautions necessary to make sure the event was safe and it suffered because of it.