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The Curse of Tippecanoe
The Curse of Tippecanoe
February 15, 2024

Deadly Astroworld Concert

Previously published Feb 16. 2022
Deadly+Astroworld+Concert

Previously published Feb 16. 2022

Chaos quickly spread through the Astroworld festival on November 5, 2021 as fans rushed to the stage, resulting in the deaths of ten individuals, ranging from ages nine through twenty-seven, in the crowd. The deaths were primarily caused by asphyxiation, with an additional 300 found with sustained injuries as well. The concert has incited controversy among the public over whether Travis Scott, the performer on stage, should be considered responsible for the deaths and the unsafe environment. Based on videos that have surfaced, Mr. Scott was speculated to have mistaken screams for stopping the concert as general heckling. In many of the fans’ recordings of the festival, faint screaming can be heard in the background, causing many in attendance to wonder whether Mr. Scott truly heard the screams or not. “The smaller individuals, under 5ft 4 were like struggling for air. Children being trampled…I was holding onto the rail with my buddies, I had it easy. I saw many people cry and scream,” one fan described. (Bradford et. al, 2021)

In addition to this, the fans further to the front were seen screaming, asking those in the back to stop yelling and ruining the concert, presumably also mistaking the yelling for heckling.

While the cause of the deaths was suffocation, many other factors may have also influenced the situation. Medical examiners had noted pricks very similar to those of injections, implying that drugs may have played a role in the accidents caused during the concerts. Another issue that may have occurred was overcrowding due to fans entering without tickets. According to Houston’s Fire Chief, “They could have had over 200,000 people in this venue; this venue was limited to 50,000”. (Goodman et. al, 2021) More clips have also been released displaying the cops watching the concert. They seemed to have no knowledge of the situation further back, calling into question whether there was enough security and safety checks in place from the beginning. (Coleman II, 2021)

Mr. Scott has since stated that he was truly unaware of the events taking place in the back of the concert and in response, offered to pay for the victims’ funerals, although many of the families turned him down. Attorney Michael Lyons, representing the family of the 27 year old victim Mirza Baig, explained  “Sadly, for my clients, a check from Travis Scott … is not going to relieve the pain and suffering that they presently are experiencing…I think it will only make it worse.” (Lozano, 2021) Travis Scott also released an apology video on social media networks, which was met with worse backlash as users found his remarks “fake”. (Bradford et. al, 2021)

With issues regarding security, enough medical staff, and overcrowding, the safety of larger venues has been called into question. In response, the US House of Representatives has launched an investigation into the concert. The House has specifically been looking into Live Nation’s handling and management of the concert.Based on a letter sent from the House’s Oversight Committee, the representatives found that the “medical and emergency staff hired for the event were inexperienced and that barricades placed in the crowd made it difficult for people to escape the crowd crush.” (Cohen, 2021)

With the horrifying events that took place at the Houston concerts, the nation has mobilized through this investigation to create safer environments for all large events to ensure casualties are prevented or at the very least, minimized.

Sources

  • Bradford, Chris, et al. “Travis Scott slammed as deleted tweets ‘show he encouraged fans to sneak in.’” The Sun, 9 November 2021, https://www.the-sun.com/news/4029668/travis-scott-astroworld-apology-slammed-stampede/. Accessed 12 January 2022.
  • Cohen, Rebecca. “US House Investigating Travis Scott’s Deadly Astroworld Concert.” Business Insider, 22 December 2021, https://www.businessinsider.com/us-house-investigating-travis-scotts-deadly-astroworld-concert-2021-12. Accessed 12 January 2022.
  • Coleman, Vernon. “Video of Cop Filming Travis Scott’s Astroworld Concert Surfaces – XXL.” XXL Mag, 11 November 2021, https://www.xxlmag.com/travis-scott-police-filming-astroworld-performance-phones-video/. Accessed 12 January 2022.
  • LOZANO, JUAN A. “Families turn down Travis Scott offer to pay for funerals.” AP News, 30 November 2021, https://apnews.com/article/astroworld-festival-deaths-business-lifestyle-arts-and-entertainment-houston-17b85360b6ac4b242dd47e802225d02d. Accessed 12 January 2022.
  • Moya, Maria Jimenez, and J. David Goodman. “At Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, a Sudden Life-and-Death Struggle.” The New York Times, 12 November 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/06/us/travis-scott-crowd-surge.html. Accessed 12 January 2022.
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