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On November 5, 2021, Travis Scott held the Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas at the NRG Park. Travis Scott one of the biggest rap personas of our generation is widely known and celebrated for his contributions to rap and trap music. His concert in Texas was based on his Hit album, Astroworld, which he released in 2018. It received widespread acclaim and debuted at the US Billboard 200 which is about 537,000 album-equivalent units. And the RIAA, Recording Industry Association of America, is a certified triple platinum album making it one of the greatest hip-hop albums of our decade.
Known for its variety, depth, and cohesive flow, Astroworld is one of Travis’s best albums. Its features which include The Weeknd, Kid Cudi, Frank Ocean, Drake, 21 Savage, Juice Wrld, Don Toliver, Swae Lee, and more all add to its high profile status and notoriety.
The Opening, The Crowd Rush, and The Consequential Deaths
The show opened with what many describe as a “demonic environment” with a virtual fire-breathing dragon and a haunting musical melody with discordant notes and keys. Many fans and attendees of the show claimed this is where their discomfort began. But it was during the show that the real chaos and Hell on Earth ensued, with a total of 11 people killed and thousands of others injured and trampled.
Many different theories circulated about the origins of such deathly chaos but nothing has been confirmed. Instead, many theories have been widely debunked by law enforcement and witnesses to the event in efforts to offer the families of the victims a sense of closure and peace. The videos that circulated on social media primarily, Twitter and Tik-Tok, showcased through a first-person perspective what it was like being trampled by the crowds as well as what the standing fans were doing to aid those caught in the rush. Many showed audience members climbing the stage, begging Travis and his staff in hoarse and petrified voices to stop the show and provide the serious medical help that was needed. One such video has a girl reaching one of the security guards working the stage shouting, “there are people dying.”
The Astroworld Aftermath: What Fans Had to Say To Travis Scott
Over the following days, pictures of Travis Scott circulated the Internet, proving he was highly aware of the situation and yet refused to stop the show or comment on what was happening in the pit below him. Many die-hard fans were disappointed at what appeared to be his malicious and ignorant lack of action. They referenced other artists like J-Cole and A$AP Rocky, who stopped their shows on multiple occasions over even the most minute disruptions like fainting or sick fans.
It took a couple of days after the horrific event for Travis Scott himself to post an apology video on Instagram. He claimed to be unaware of the dire circumstances but agreed to do his part by reimbursing families of the victims through paying for the funerals and dedicating funds to ongoing investigations of what actually happened to inspire these events. Fans remained disappointed and called him out for the insincere apology, saying it was made in a last-minute effort to preserve his career.
Claims like this were backed by those who were injured like a young woman who accidentally recorded the moment she had been trampled. The video evidence shows her screaming in agony as bodies piled atop her and her knee cap cracked in half. She claimed it was the most terrifying moment of her life and she’s grateful to have made it out alive.
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Mosh Pits, Celebrities and Our Unhealthy Idealization of Them
The mosh pits are a common occurrence for all concerts, breeding frantic and uncontrolled energy, especially for Travis’s shows, as he loves bolstering the chaos. This however provides no excuse or explanation for the breadth of damage that was done and the lives that were lost at what should have been a benign event.
While there’s inconsistency over what happened, whether it be due to a supposed injection of lethal drugs or a gun going off in the distance, the main problem remains the lack of security guards or protection for the fans. In fact, it’s been proven true that the nearby Fire Department had zero communication with the concert staff or the on-stage medical staff – a lack of communication that is especially dangerous when it comes to events and situations like the one at Astrofest.
This also calls to mind a common theme in the LA socialite and celebrity life – an intense idealization and romanticization of them by fans. The fame, the money, the grandiose luxury of their lives becomes a source of entertainment for those on the Internet and many argue that this obsession is the root of some of the problems that occurred as well. When so much trust, faith, and in some cases, worship is given to these celebrities it creates a rather frightening and unhealthy relationship between artist and fan, a relationship where the sheer passion and dedication creates a dangerous situation like the trampling at Scott’s concert.
More than anything, this is a reminder to remain anchored to real life, to remain inquisitive and smart when it comes to the way we perceive and treat those we admire. We are all human, we are all supposed to be held accountable for our mistakes and we all deserve to feel safe and taken care of in situations like this. Our hearts and thoughts go out to those who lost their lives at Astrofest.
By Mireille Karadanaian
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Mireille Karadanaian is an entertainment journalist, whose passion for reviewing upcoming TV shows and movies has existed since a young age. She writes reviews and feature entertainment stories for The Hollywood Insider’s inclusive and authentic platform, contributing to the important stories being told in media today. Mireille loves discussing the impact today’s media is making on younger generations who emulate what they see on screen and the Internet, a double-edged sword. Her stories often include the importance of creating content that inspires inclusion, positivity, and productive messages to all audiences and generations. Mireille’s love of covering TV shows, movies, and exciting questions that are being asked in the media world is seen in her writing and her ability to not just report facts but also tell a story.