Tragedy of Astroworld

Jaques Bermon Webster II, or Travis Scott, is an American rapper and record producer. The Astroworld Festival is an annual music carnival based on the creator’s hit album Astroworld held in Houston, Texas since 2018. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was canceled in 2020. Fans were enthusiastic to return to the festival on Nov. 5, 2021. Around 50,000 enthusiasts were at the festival, however, none of them knew the night would end in chaos and pain.

According to Samuel Peña, the Chief of Houston’s fire department, a crowd surge transpired around 9:40 p.m. resulting in over 300 injuries and 10 deaths. 9-year-old Ezra Blount was the latest and youngest death reported from the event.

Travis Scott has records of encouraging unruly and dangerous behavior from his fans during concerts. His energetic concerts have seen mosh pits and fans crowd surfing in the past. In 2017, Travis Scott was arrested for inciting a riot and encouraging fans to bypass security and stampede towards the stage. He has been charged with 3 misdemeanor charges for motivating riots and disorderly conduct so far.

After the events of Astroworld, Travis Scott uploaded a video to his social media serving as an apology for the event. In it, he said that he was absolutely devastated, and could never have imagined something like this happening. The video, however, was only 1 minute and 28 seconds long, leaving those who viewed it disappointed. They claimed that his apology video didn’t actually have an apology in it. Scott never said the words “I’m sorry” or formally apologized in any way. The style of the apology video, as well, seemed to be insincere. Many do believe, though, that even if he had done more to apologize, it still would not have been enough for the 10 victims killed and the hundreds of others who were injured. 

Since Scott’s apology video was posted, people have been making an effort to show what other artists have done to prevent injury from happening at their concerts. Dave Grohl, of the rock band Foo Fighters, stopped his concert when he noticed a fight taking place in the mosh pit. He kicked out the person who had started the fight to protect the rest of the crowd. Similarly, Mike Shinoda of Linkin’ Park noticed a fan fall down and stopped to get the crowd to pick him up. He took this moment to help explain crowd safety to everyone there, telling them that they should immediately help when someone falls. These are just two of many artists who’ve stopped disasters from happening at their concerts. Many believe Scott should have helped more, like those above, instead of ignoring the obvious danger.