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Tragedy at Travis Scott’s Astroworld

For most people, seeing their favorite artist in concert is a once in a lifetime, enjoyable experience. However, just this past week, tragedy struck at Travis Scott’s highly anticipated event: Astroworld Festival. On Friday November 5th, Scott took the stage to perform in front of a crowd of almost 50,000 people in Houston. However, very quickly the event turned deadly as waves of people came rushing in, causing panic and desperation for the rest of the crowd. Concert-goers began to realize the scope of the event as bodies were being trapped under each other; they began to call out for CPR, to call 911, and overall for the concert to be halted. 

However, the concert continued to go on, and Scott kept performing. In wake of the event, social media exploded with footage and first-hand accounts of the concert. There were countless videos posted to platforms such as TikTok or Twitter showing the surge of concert-goers, and even spectators tightly packed watching Scott perform. On TikTok specifically, the hashtag #Astroworld was used on videos that had 2.4 billion views. Some of these posts housed misinformation that led to a great deal of conspiracy theories about the concert. Some of these theories even claimed that the concert was a part of a satanic ritual. 

In addition to questions about conspiracy theories, concertgoers were left wondering how the situation went awry so quickly. It seemed as if there were not enough security measures or medical personnel on hand for the number of people present. On several videos posted, an ambulance can be seen attempting to make its way through the swarm, however it was basically at a standstill. The concert was not stopped by Live Nation until about 30 minutes before the original end time, and about 40 minutes after what officials referred to as a “mass casualty event” began. While the media was quick to point fingers at Scott and Live Nation, officials also stated that they were unclear whether or not the chaos could be seen from the stage, and that ending the concert sooner may have made the situation worse. 

What is clear is that this event was a tragedy that should not have occured. By the end of the night 8 deaths from the ages of 14 to 27 were reported and hundreds more were treated for injuries. While some concerts can get out of hand, the atmosphere of Astroworld Festival was certainly quite different, and should serve as a warning for future events. 

Sources:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-the-travis-scott-concert-stopped-the-social-media-postsand-conspiracy-theorieswere-just-beginning-11636713001 

https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/12/us/travis-scott-concert-houston-friday/index.html

Kelty is a third-year writer at Bucknell from Wayne, PA
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