10 people, including a 9-year-old boy, were killed during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival.
The events of Astroworld are incredibly important to discuss and to remember. 10 people lost their lives after a crowd surge caused fatal injuries. The victims were all aged between 27 and 9 years old, all of them died at an event that was supposed to be enjoyable.
On the 5th of November 2021, Travis Scott’s two-day festival, Astroworld, took place on the grounds of a former Six Flags Park of the same name. 50,000 people attended. By the end of the night, 10 of those had been killed, over 25 were hospitalised and countless people were left devastated by the incident.
Of course, this isn’t the first tragedy like this at a music event. In 2000, nine attendees were crushed to death at a Pearl Jam concert in Denmark. Two fans were trampled at a Guns ’n’ Roses in 1988. 11 people died after being trampled in a rush to the stage at The Who’s concert in 1979.
How do incidents like this happen?
Any tragedy is the result of several factors. One element that tends to be brought up, again and again, is “festival seating” – essentially standing tickets. According to expert Paul Wertheimer, “It forces people in a crowd to compete against each other for the best location or best area to be. And in crowd safety, that’s the last thing you want to occur. You want people working together.”
The events of the night
Injuries were reported by local police throughout the day of the concert. It was reported that at 17:00 CST conditions in the crowd became dangerous.
Over 260 people were thought to have been treated for injuries before Travis Scott took the stage.
It’s believed that the first crush injuries were suffered at roughly 21:18 CST.
By 21:33 CST, people were thought to have passed out in front of the stage and trampling began.
Travis Scott continued to perform for over 40 minutes from when the panic began.
Local police declared the festival a “mass causality event”.
Videos of the event show the panic of the crowd. People are heard pleading for the concert to be stopped.
According to reports, the concert continued through the panic due to it being live-streamed for Apple Music.
The tragedies that have occurred due to crowd surges in the past can be attributed to a lack of knowledge. Health and safety standards in 1979 were not the same as they are today. However, for an incident as shocking as this one to occur in 2021, something must have gone seriously wrong.
Footage of the crowds is all over social media. The lives of these young people were cut short during a tragedy that was preventable.
It’s nothing new to hear conspiracy theories about Travis Scott’s alleged links with devil worship. Throughout history, music and satanic panic have gone hand in hand. Of course, after a tragedy as great as this one combined with allegations of inciting the violence, Scott was bond to face theorists.
Now, though, a new narrative has taken hold. Many have accused the event of being a testing site for mind control on vaxxed citizens. Tiktok took the intuitive to remove videos on the theory from their platform, but there’s no telling the true reach of these beliefs.
For celebrities like Travis Scott, these stories mean nothing. There aren’t many people in the public eye that haven’t been accused of being in the Illuminati or of being part of some grand conspiracy like Pizzagate.
The people who are affected by these videos are the families of those lost and people affected by what happened. There are victims of this incident who will have to face years of psychological trauma. They now must face people who think they were a part of a human experiment.
Scott has a responsibility to help protect the victims from these videos. Yes, he has said he will pay for therapy, but more needs to be said in order to halt these theories.
Fuelling the fire
This isn’t Travis Scott’s first-time making headlines. In 2017, Travis Scott was accused of encouraging people to rush the stage at a concert in Arkansas, he later pleaded guilty.
The same year, a man fell from a balcony at Travis Scott’s concert in the Terminal 5 venue in New York. He was paralyzed from the fall which was caused by a crowd surge.
News stories like the Capitol insurrection are brought to mind. These male figureheads are using their influence to incite a violent rage amongst their adoring fans.
Moving away from the satanic connotations, incidents like this show is a dedicated following that is dangerously motivated by anger.
Travis Scott fans and followers of Donald Trump couldn’t be further apart in society, however, their similarity shines in the rage seen at their gatherings.
Travis Scott and his girlfriend, Kylie Jenner, have both claimed to have been unaware of the surge until much later. They commented that it wasn’t until they returned from an after-party that they were made aware of what happened in the crowd.
Kylie shared an Instagram story that clearly shows an EMT vehicle attempting to reach those injured. Fans online commented on the video, calling it “dystopian”.
The Kardashian- Jenner family has remained eerily quiet on the event.
Kim and Kendall are the only two, besides Travis and Kylie, to put their condolences into their own words. Kris Jenner and Khloe Kardashian have both reposted Kim’s message.
However, this did come after backlash from a post that Khloe shared that didn’t acknowledge the event. It was described as “tone-deaf” by fans.
Kourtney Kardashian has yet to comment on the incident, leaving many to wonder how affected the family was by the tragedy.
A quick google news search of the family’s name shows an interesting picture. While a few of the trending stories are about Astroworld (mostly criticising the reactions), the majority focus on Kim’s newest relationship.
Kim began dating SNL’s Pete Davison after she hosted the show in October. Many have accused the relationship of acting as a press stunt, one to distract from the Astroworld tragedy.
Is their relationship a PR stunt? Maybe.
Is it to distract from Astroworld? Almost certainly not.
For a start, the rumors began well before Astroworld, celebrity gossip account Deuxmoi posted rumors to Instagram in late October.
It seems possible that the pair’s relationship is just for show, however, it’s also plausible it’s for real (a relative of Pete Davison told Deuxmoi that Pete doesn’t do PR dating). It might not have been created to distract from Astroworld, but it’s doing the job.
Pete Davison’s love life has been a mainstay in gossip columns for a while now. Kim and Pete’s relationship was never not going to make headlines.
During a period so close to the tragedy, it seems disrespectful to be continuing to publicise the relationship with insta posts and PDA sightings.
What needs to happen
If action isn’t taken, this will continue to happen. If crowds are unable to be controlled by the current measures, then new measures need to be introduced. If festival seating continues to result in trampling and surges, it needs to be investigated and regulated more carefully.
Who exactly is to blame? A verdict needs to be made quickly for the sake of the families. Justice shouldn’t be averted just because the person who is criminally negligent is rich or famous.
Travis Scott, for all his failings, isn’t solely responsible.
Those tasked with running the festival, those providing security and those who profited off any unnecessary deaths caused by the surge need to be held accountable.
Travis Scott and the Kardashian-Jenner family need to make more comprehensive and meaningful statements. They need to show the ways in which this will change the way they operate. What will they do to prevent this from happening again?
The need to be brave and address the families, the victims, and those affected by it.
Social media platforms need to work harder to clamp down on conspiracy theories. They need to battle against this mentally before more people are hurt.
Most importantly, the anger needs to stop. Travis Scott has a responsibility to learn from this fatal error. It isn’t a game. 10 people are now dead.