By Diya Barmecha
Just as the world was going towards normal with concerts and opening up of music festivals, the November 5th crowd crush happened. On this night, during Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival ten people died. While 8 passed away on the night of the concert, 2 more succumbed to their injuries in the next few days. The crowd crush and stampede of people was so strong that 25 people were hospitalised and over 300 people were treated for injuries at the festival’s hospital. An event that was to be the epitome of joy and celebration, quickly turned into a horrific nightmare.
To understand how such celebrations turned into a sad story, let’s go back to the night of this event. Even before the countdown to Travis scott’s entry started, the medical staff at the music festival was overwhelmed with the crowd surge and the injuries that came with it. However, when Travis Scott came onto stage was when the heights of this tragedy were seen. During the first song, a few people had passed out. The Houston Fire Department revived reports of people passing out and had informed the show’s producers that people were going down. The implications of this crowd surge was so high that within 30 minutes there was a mass casualty event declared. There are multiple videos of Travis Scott looking out into the audience and asking what had happened during his concert since he saw an ambulance. Some have interpreted this as thoughtful of him while others are convinced that Travis Scott and the show’s security had a responsibility to the people attending. As the tension in the situation rose and the number of people shouting for Travis to stop the concert increased, the concert was finally stopped at 10:10 PM.
Among the various victims in the concert, the youngest was 9-year-old, Extra Blount. The tragedy of this concert was felt for days. Scott promised to cover all the funeral costs for the victims of the incident and sent an apology video. During the next few days a statement was also made that “this was one of the many steps that Travis plans on taking as part of his personal vow to assist those affected throughout their grieving and recovery process.” Similarly, in a letter written by his lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, it showed that the rapper was “devastated” by the events of Astroworld.
Although this may seem like a normal crowd surge to many, the police are investigating various angles to this festival as well. The most prevalent one includes the drug angel they are investigating. Authorities revealed that “Narcan had been administered several times at the concert”.
While there are many people who blame Travis Scott for this and for not stopping the concert earlier. There are others like Grade 10 student Ishaan Shetty who say, “ Whatever he did was absolutely wrong and it was very sad but things haven;t changed and I still listen to his music.” Other fans like him believe that what happened at the concert was not his fault and they, “still like him as a person because there were many other people in the festival”. This is a very grey area. However, investigations are still underway. If there is more to the story, we will know one way or another.