Cancel Travis Scott


Maryam Sadeghifard, Staff Writer

The Astroworld Festival 2021, a concert that took place on Nov. 7 in Houston, Texas, resulted in the death of nine people, and numerous others being severely injured. With approximately 50,000 attendees, this event was considered a mass casualty incident by the Houston Police Department. Prior to the concert, problems were already starting to occur early in the day when concertgoers in the crowd surged the venue and ran through the barricades set in place. The clear lack of an emergency plan, negligence stemming from the concert organizers, and the fact that Travis Scott encouraged unsafe behaviors, all ultimately caused this tragedy.

In previous years, it has been very rare for a performer to be held liable for deaths that took place during festivals. Rock band Pearl Jam in 2000 had nine people trampled to death at Roskilde Festival in Denmark, yet were not sued because they had no control over the venue and logistics of planning the event beforehand. The Astroworld case is completely different. Scott himself, was the concert organizer, supervisor of the event, and had full control over the number of staff and security present. 

Scott had been warned about potential crowd control and safety issues,” said the New York Times in an interview with Houston Police Chief Finner, who voiced his opinions to Scott in person.

The idea that overcrowding could potentially lead to bigger issues, like severe injuries to his fans, wasn’t new to Scott. This apparent negligence of the safety of his fans and those he hired to run the venue ultimately proves this tragedy could have been prevented, but it wasn’t, leading to the death of nine of his fans.

“Within the first 30 seconds of the first song, people began to drown—in other people… The rush of people became tighter and tighter. Breathing was something only a few people were capable of,” said concertgoer Seanna McCarthy in an Instagram post

In a video, it is clear that fans disregarded security measures put in place and pushed their way through entrance gates of the festival. With more security and more surveillance, this could have been prevented. 

“The venue simply had too many patients and not enough medical staff,” reported Sami Anjum, an EMT at the concert, in an interview with the Washington Post.

There were only 755 security guards for a festival consisting of over 50,000 people. The negligence from Scott and the other companies involved in planning this event shows how unprepared and disillusioned they were; a security guard for the event had quit earlier that day because of the lack of training.

At approximately 9 p.m. Scott entered the stage, prompting the fans to push forward, bumping into one another in order to get closer to the stage. Crowd surges followed. With the back pushing forward, not knowing about the distress of those in front, there was a lack of oxygen and mass hyperventilation for the concertgoers.

“Stop the show,” pleaded McCarthy in a video circulating the web of her trying to stop the concert after seeing someone dying in the audience, only to be ignored.

Control the crowd. As a performer who encourages rowdy behavior, you would’ve thought Scott would’ve known when to stop the music, or control the people surging forward. How is it that he never saw more than one person fainting in the crowd? At one point in the audience, there were people dancing on top of ambulances trying to get through. With a bird’s eye view of the audience, why didn’t Scott stop this?

The crucial distinction between Scott and other performers is shown in a video that has resurfaced from A$AP Rocky’s concert from Rolling Loud in Lollapalooza where Rocky had complete control of the audience. A$AP Rocky noticed some female fans falling down in the audience, and he immediately stopped the show. He told everyone to pick the girls up and didn’t continue the show until he knew that the girls were okay. This is a perfect example of what should have happened.

“I began to realize in that moment there is a way to die that not many people know about. Being trampled to death,” McCarthy wrote.

Scott, in past concerts, encouraged fans to break through barricades and ignore security. This led to several lawsuits– one in 2015, where he incited chaos at a Lollapalooza festival to run through barricades, and was sentenced to one year of court supervision after pleading guilty. In another instance in 2017, Scott was arrested after fans bypassed security, severely injuring a security guard and police officer. He, yet again, pleaded guilty to inciting a riot and paid a fine. In both cases, he constantly advocated for an unsafe and overcrowded concert with a disregard to authority and human lives. All the warning signs to improve on security were there. Knowing about the nature of his concerts, it prompts the question as to why there weren’t more EMTs hired or an emergency plan put in place.

Even though Scott claimed not to know about “carnage before him” in the audience, he issued an “apology” and canceled his concert on Nov. 13. He also offered to pay for the funerals of those who lost their lives. These efforts still will never come remotely close to making up for the amount of agony and pain his concert caused. There are now families who will forever have to suffer from the loss of their loved ones: Franco Patino, John Hilgert, Brianna Rodriguez, Rudy Peña, Danish Beig, Jacob E. Jurinek, Axel Acosta, Madison Dubiski, and Bharti Shahani. 

Without the forethought of what could happen in a venue of that size, with that number of people in ratio with the amount of EMTs, and considering the past encouragement of disregarding security, this outcome was unfortunately predictable, and could’ve been avoided with more measures set in place.


Photo Courtesy of GETTYIMAGES.COM