Saturday, September 24News For London

Travis Scott’s Astroworld ignites discussion about festival safety

Image by Iñaki Espejo-Saavedra via Flickr

Rapper Travis Scott is being sued after a crowd surge occurred on the first day of the third Astroworld Festival on Friday 5 November, which killed eight people and left several hundred injured in a stampede after barricades collapsed.

The sold-out concert was attended by 50,000 people at NRG Park in Houston, Texas on Friday. Video footage circulated on social media also showed groups of people breaking down barricades to get into the event, as they did not possess a ticket.

Due to previous difficulties with crowd control at past Astroworld festivals, more private security and police officers were hired in an effort to curb potentially dangerous activities.

Travis Scott has a prior history of misdemeanor charges in relation to his concerts – the first in 2015 at Lollapalooza in Chicago and the next in 2017 in Arkansas that left a fan paralysed after falling off from a balcony. Both these incidents led to convictions, in which he pled guilty.

It was reported that the 29 year old rapper continued his 75 minute set during which eight people were killed – two of which were underage, aged 14 and 16. Videos have emerged on social media platforms of attendees shouting at Scott and members of security to stop the concert, including a video of two people asking a camera-man to “stop the show” and shouting “there is somebody dead in there” as they point towards the audience.

Questions have been raised in regards to the safety precautions and the role that Scott may have played in the organisation of the event. Agaash, 22, told Westminster World: “I have got a CD of one of his [Scott’s] old albums, so I think I have to chuck that in the bin.”

Another fan, Janie, 24, said: “I don’t think it’s him [Scott] personally but it just shows that they need more accountability…and make sure that they have got great planning behind these events.”

Social media played a large part in the backlash, with many users spreading information regarding what went on inside the festival, primarily on TikTok and Twitter.

Reporter Zuri Soto spoke to Rose and Verity, both 18, about what they had been exposed to online: “People were dancing on the ambulances…People passed out with their eyes rolled back and calling out for help. It was very disturbing to watch.” This is just an example of some of the graphic content circulating online.

Reporter Zuri Soto interviewing Rosie and Verity. Photograph by Lucy Tudor

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