This past Friday in Houston, Texas, Travis Scott played at the Astroworld Festival, where 8 of his fans died due to the violent nature of the crowd in attendance. All the deaths were people under the age of 28, the youngest of which being a 14 year old boy; all the deaths were caused by the savage nature of the crowd, the results of massive surges towards the main stage as fans pushed and ran over others on their way to the front.
The incident, although isolated in the fact that deaths occured, is not the first time a Travis Scott concert has gotten out of hand. Known for encouraging his fans to “rage” in the stands, Scott’s concerts often have mosh pits and stage rushes, known for their violence and brutality. Some fans even buy tickets to his shows in the hopes of being involved in these events, thinking that it is part of the experience of his music. The encouragement Travis Scott gives his fans to be wild and dangerous in the crowd inspired his niche concert culture; when people go see Scott, they know to expect a rowdy and active crowd. However, the lack of rules and boundaries for what fans can do have caused those who have no concern for others to take advantage of the way Scott encourages his crowds, and has led to the injuries and deaths from Friday’s show.
Not only is the concert culture surrounding Scott’s music destructive and criminally negligent, but his lack of staff and his continuing the concert and setlist while the crowd screamed for him to stop the show demonstrates his lack of care for what occurred on Friday. Videos have emerged of fans climbing on stage and backstage, screaming at lighting staff, camera men, and Scott himself to “stop the show” and that “people are literally dying” in the crowd by the front. Staff dismissed them, telling them to basically go away, while Scott stayed oblivious – or impartial – to the tragedies occurring before his own eyes. Even before the show, fans – some of which didn’t have a ticket – surged the barricades at one of the entrances, knocking down fences and ticket stations so hundreds of people could get in. Staff couldn’t control fans before they got there, and demonstrated the same lack of dominance over concert goers when they couldn’t keep people safe.
Causes of death and injury have been linked to trampling, internal bleeding, and cardiac arrest, all of which were caused by the intense surge of the crowd towards the front. Travis Scott put a statement on his Twitter, briefly mentioning his “devastation” for what occurred in Houston, to which most replies are video evidence of the ways in which Travis Scott encourages the crowd to disrespect security and morals. Outrage at his small, unconvincing apology can be found all over Twitter, as the topic is currently trending. Many of the families of the deceased are lawyering up and getting ready to file a lawsuit. In the aftermath of Friday’s cruelty, fans have returned to the venue to lay flowers, candles and mementos, but none of which will ever erase the horrible tragedy that occurred during the concert.