Tragedy struck Houston, Texas on Friday (November 5th 2021) when at least eight people were killed and hundreds more were injured after a deadly crowd crush at the third Astroworld Festival where Travis Scott was performing.

Travis Scott at Astroworld 2021 / Photo credit: Jennifer Lake/SIPA USA/PA Images

Travis Scott at Astroworld 2021 / Photo credit: Jennifer Lake/SIPA USA/PA Images

Over 300 festival goers were treated for their injuries at the scene, while 25 were transferred to hospital including a 10-year-old. Of the eight people who died, the youngest was a 14-year-old named John Hilgert. 

The “absolutely devastated” 30-year-old rapper, who runs the festival named after his third studio album, is now under fire for failing to stop the concert despite thousands of pleas from the frantic audience during the horrific incident.

In fact, both he and concert company Live Nation are being sued for negligence, with at least two criminal investigations underway.

MORE: Travis Scott sued by injured fan after Astroworld tragedy

According to eyewitnesses, the crush started when Scott first came out onto the stage. People were thrust forward so hard against the barriers that they struggled to breathe, and the barriers themselves began to yield to the pressure. 

Allegedly Scott noticed that something was going on when he saw an emergency vehicle attempting to make its way through the crowd. But instead of stopping the show, he merely launched into his next song which only served to rile up attendees further, preventing paramedics from reaching their casualties.  

In fact, it took around 40 minutes for the show to be stopped following the first complaints; an unforgivably long time considering how the event was foreshadowed by an incident earlier that day, when hundreds of people rushed against a set of barriers to gain access to the VIP area.

Was this just a case of lax security? There were 755 security officials provided by Live Nation as well as 528 police officers stationed at the festival, with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner claiming that more security was provided for Astroworld than this month’s World Series. Probably due to the fact that 2019’s event saw three people injured under the feet of a crowd rushing into the festival area. 

Despite the increase of security, festival-goers found they were the only ones attempting to stop the concert, with reports and videos showing how a few even tried to grab the attention of cameramen who completely ignored their pleas.  

As for Travis Scott, time and time again he has shown a blatant disregard for the safety of his fans at his shows so is it any surprise that his show didn’t stop sooner? In 2015, he was charged with disorderly conduct for encouraging fans to rush towards the stage and ignore security at Lollapalooza Chicago, and was arrested in 2017 for similar behavior during a show in Arkansas. 

Since this heartbreaking event, he has made a statement in the video to the tune of: “My fans really mean the world to me and I always just really want to leave them with a positive experience. Any time I can make out anything that’s going on, I’ll stop the show.”

MORE: Travis Scott is 'beside himself' after Astroworld tragedy

And perhaps he couldn’t hear the chants of “stop the show” or see the bodies littering the ground, but when he saw the approaching emergency vehicles, what on Earth did he think was going on?

When you are at a concert, who’s the person you’re most likely going to listen to? It sure won’t be other gig-goers, and it certainly won’t be the meagre security (because, let’s face it, is any kind of concert security a match for 50,000 revellers?). It may be, however, the icon on stage who’s already got your attention.

This is why artists like Yungblud are so highly praised for frequently pausing his shows -  sometimes mid-track - to break-up fights, help injured fans or call out bad behaviour. He is an artist who shows genuine love for his audiences by keeping his eyes peeled and being vocal about aggressive conduct. He isn’t afraid to shout at anyone who is making his show a little less fun for someone else, and as soon as he notices any dangerous over-zealousness, the music stops. 

Could what happened at Astroworld have been prevented by a little more attention from Travis Scott? No-one can say for sure. But it is true that a performer’s responsibility is to provide the best concert experience possible, and that sometimes means engaging in a little crowd control. Especially when it’s clear you can’t always rely on staff. 


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk


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