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The Horrors of the Astroworld Festival

This past Friday eight people died and over three hundred were injured at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas.  There are many horrific videos circulating of how insanely overpacked and claustrophobic the crowd was.  People were packed brim to brim, struggling to breathe, struggling to remain calm, struggling to stay alive.  There were about 50,000 people at the festival, although multitudes of Travis Scott fans who did not purchase tickets were videoed breaking through barricades and dodging security guards in order to get in.  Travis Scott in the past has encouraged fans to sneak/break into his concerts.  One of his tweets from this past May, when the Astroworld festival tickets sold out in under an hour, reads, “NAW AND WE STILL SNEAKING THE WILD ONES IN. !!!”  Although he ended up deleting the tweet, from the picture the Daily Mail provides, the tweet reached 7,083 retweets, 1,800 quotes, and 99.9k likes.

There are numerous videos disseminating of the crowd’s heartbreaking pleas for help and them chanting “stop the show”.  When Travis Scott heard the chants, he said on stage, “Somebody said to stop” but then continued on with his performance.  There is also a video going around of a fan passed out and being taken out.  A lot of people are cropping out the beginning of the video where Travis is saying, “Somebody help him, somebody passed out over here.”  After this, he started singing “yeah” over and over again, just staring at the passed out fan, which is extremely bizarre.  From what I saw in the video, his eyes honestly looked dead and I did not see much remorse, but that’s just me.  The appropriate thing to do in this situation would be to bring the concert to a complete halt, tell the fans to back up, and let the fan be escorted safely and effectively.

The crowd is also at fault here.  Via people posting their experiences on TikTok, people in the crowd would not make way for the emergency vehicles coming through to help injured and passed out people in the crowd.  There is a video of three people jumping up and down on a golf cart with a person passed out in it trying to get through the crowd.  It is absolutely infuriating and horrific to see the lack of care or empathy for other human beings that attended this festival.  Hardcore fans seemed to completely disregard the fact that people were literally being crushed and only seemed to care about getting the perfect view of Travis Scott.  It makes me sick to my stomach to see how fans crazily worship celebrities, who are literally just people, just like us.  Not to mention people were so desperate to be as close to the front as possible that they were pushing people in the very front up against the gate.  Although I do realize that crowd surges are uncontrollable, and people were probably being pushed because people behind them were pushing, causing an unavoidable chain reaction. Their ribs were being pushed up against the gate, making it nearly impossible for them to breathe.  The fact that people will do anything to be close to their favorite celebrity, including hurting other human beings to the point where they cannot breathe, is absolutely disgusting.

Lastly, there is a conspiracy theory going around regarding the Astroworld festival.  People are saying that the festival was a satanic ritual, meant to sacrifice people in the crowd.  I do not want to be disrespectful to the victims and their families by encouraging this conspiracy theory, so disclaimer: I am not advocating for this theory.  It is a part of the event that has been shared via the news and social media.  Within a minute of the concert starting, there was a large dove on fire displayed on the screen above the stage.  Doves are symbolic of love and peace, and to add fire to that creates a whole new meaning.  The way the stage was set up looked to some like an upside down cross, which is symbolic of anti-Christianity.  The end of the cross went into the way back of the stage, into the mountains that were set up surrounding the stage.  One other eerie aspect of this festival was the theme surrounding it.  There was a digital picture on the stage that read “See ya on the other side” and the merchandise being sold also contained that phrase.  Travis also had some artwork displayed on his Instagram leading up to the festival.  The phrase “When the end arrives it’s really the beginning” appears on the artwork, along with, “The true dystopia is here!”  The definition of dystopia reads, “An imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic”.  There seems to be a lot of coincidences which is what is really driving this conspiracy theory.  

One more confirmed event which happened at the festival is that someone was going around injecting people with drugs.  The Houston police have confirmed this.  A security guard working at the festival was trying to restrain someone during a fight when he felt a prick on his neck and lost consciousness.  It was reported that the security guard and several other individuals had to be administered narcan.  I am not sure whether they are still investigating this and are trying to find this individual, but it sickens me that someone would do this in general, but especially since it was so overpacked.

There overall needs to be accountability taken for the tragic events that occurred at the Astroworld festival.  Travis Scott needs to take accountability for not stopping the concert and further encouraging reckless behavior by hyping up the crowd.  The cameraman who shooed away a woman who was trying to tell him there was a dead person in the crowd needs to be held accountable.  Travis Scott’s team and the people who were in charge of the venue and set up also need to be held accountable.  The people in the crowd standing in the way of emergency vehicles and people pushing and pushing toward the front need to be held accountable, although this is hard to do.  I sincerely hope that they feel immense amounts of guilt for their contribution to this chaos.  Hopefully this tragedy will be a wakeup call for other artists and the future concerts they have.  Concert management and security needs to be taken seriously and there needs to be proper measures in place to prevent this from ever happening again.  My heart goes out to the eight victims who lost their lives that night, thinking they were just going to their favorite artist’s concert to have fun.

Rest in Peace

Axel Acosta, 21, of Washington

Brianna Rodriguez, 16, of Houston

Danish Baig, 27, of Houston

Franco Patiño, 21, of Illinois

Jacob Jurinke, 20, of Illinois

John Hilgert, 14, of Houston

Madison Dubiski, 23, of Texas

Rodolfo Peña, 23, of Texas

Katie is the president and chapter correspondent of the Her Campus Buffalo chapter and a junior at the University at Buffalo studying psychology and political science. She loves to write about current events, politics, how to manage college life, and much more! She plans on using this platform to speak her mind and make a difference at UB.
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