Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert in Houston, Texas on November 5, 2021, quickly became the death scene of 9 people under the age of 30. The concert, meant to be a rager of sorts, got out of hand and people even died.
The concert was reportedly sold out, with 50,000 spectators in attendance. Astroworld concerts are typically big parties with mosh pits but this one escalated quickly and ended gravely. The crowd surged towards the stage and countless were trampled. Calls for the show to be stopped were refused and as a result, hundreds of people went home injured.
Distress among guests was recognized as early as just half an hour into the concert, but unfortunately, that’s not unusual at a concert like this. A few people even conveyed the fact that people were lying unconscious on the ground to security, who didn’t react much either. Survivors looking back on it described overcrowded conditions and multiple people on the ground being stepped on by multiple others. The line between dancing and violence was being toed by many and crossed for many more. It was hard for people to make their way out with a stampede of listeners shrieking and shoving inwards. Crowd surfers jumped into the mosh pits and in the heightened rush of it all, participants yelling for help were drowned out.
Reportedly, Scott did briefly pause the show to check in with everyone for just a minute before launching into another loud song. Although his efforts during the concert were minimal, he also did have someone who had fainted carried out. Despite the number of casualties in the mosh pit, Scott ensured that the show would go on. Once attendees made it clear that there were people without a pulse, the function’s sponsor, Live Nation decided to stop the show short. However, the singing and dancing still went on. It took the arrival of the police and ambulance, and the declaration of the concert as a “mass-casualty event” before the concert fully stopped.
Once the concert was over and the crowd was surveyed, it was found that the people were in poor shape. Copious amounts of people were left wounded and in desperate attempts to save others, people were attempting to administer CPR to those that were passed out.
Given the abundant number of lawsuits filed against Travis Scott for his negligence while performing, Edwin F. McPherson, Travis’s lawyer, attempted to justify the careless singer’s behavior by claiming that the performer didn’t understand everything that was going on during the concert. He made the point that Scott has flashes blinding him and ear monitors blasting through his eardrums so he can’t see or hear much, impairing his ability to assess and comprehend the situation during the concert.
Many people online have responded to such a statement by flooding the internet with videos of people who were denied their begs for help. Moreover, countless comparisons have been made on social media comparing Travis to other singers who suffered tragedies during their concerts, such as Ariana Grange during the Manchester bombing in 2017, and made far more diligent attempts to make up for what happened. These call-outs have successfully guilted Travis into making efforts to pay for the funerals of those who died and provide grief counseling for all those affected, but still many argue that he’s not doing enough.
In the wake of such a tragedy, it is important to pay respects to the 9 people that lost their lives during that night. All the victims were under 30 years of age and although limited information about each has been released to the public at this point, this is what is known. This was Bharti Shahani’s first music festival. She was a 22-year-old Texas A&M University student, and the most recent to pass after being on a ventilator in critical condition for days. Another victim was Axel Acosta Avila, a 21-year-old student at Western Washington University who grew up in Tieton, Washington, and had a keen interest in computer science. Next, Danish Baig, who was 27 and from Euless, Texas, died trying to save his fiancée who was getting trampled during the crowd surge. Jacob Jurinek, a 20-year-old studying journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale died as well. Another student, Franco Patino, was in his last year at the University of Dayton studying mechanical engineering technology and human movement biomechanics. Rodolfo Peña, a 23-year-old who lived in Laredo, Texas, and attended Laredo College, also lost his life that night. Additionally, Brianna Rodriguez, a 16-year-old junior at Heights High School in Houston, also passed. Further, John Hilgert, a 14-year-old freshman at Memorial High School in Houston, was among the lives lost. Lastly, Madison Dubiski who was 23 and from Cypress, Texas also died due to the unfortunate circumstances of the concert that night.
It goes without saying that the concert was disastrous. Hopefully all those injured will recover soon and those mourning the loss of loved ones will be okay.