Is Travis Scott Liable for Astroworld?
By Annika Henthorn
After such a struggle to revive the ways of life lost in the pandemic, many have anticipated the excitement of concerts again. Live music, friends and family, and good food are typically a recipe for a memorable night. However, unlike most concerts, Travis Scott’s Astroworld took a dark turn. Whether that was because of the barbaric behavior of many who attended or the blatant ignorance of the horrors happening below stage, Astroworld quickly turned from a festival to a fatal frenzy.
The atrocities that transpired on November 5th are currently being investigated, and multiple lawsuits have already been filed against rapper Travis Scott. Videos and pictures have surfaced from the event that expose not only those that selfishly stormed the concert but also the team in charge of it all. Multiple TikToks clearly depict the utter disregard for the madness ensuing just feet away from Scott. Courageous fans even got on stage to alert cameramen, directors, and even Travis Scott that people were dying in the crowd. However, despite their heart-wrenching cries, Scott continued to perform.
Police have revealed eight people have died, including a fourteen-year-old boy. USA Today has also disclosed that a ten-year-old boy is in critical condition and twenty-five people were taken to the hospital. The names of those that tragically lost their lives have been released: Mirza Danish Baig, 27; Rodolfo Peña, 23; Madison Dubiski, 23; Axel Acosta Avila, 21; Franco Patino, 21; Jacob Jurinek, 20; Brianna Rodriguez, 16; and John Hilgert, 14.
The causes of the deaths have remained partially unknown. However, much of the injuries sustained were from the crushing push of the crowds. Piles of people were toppled onto each other, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible to breathe. Security barricades and fences were being mauled by mobs of people recklessly swarming the stage. The tsunami of people that extended far beyond the capacity was likely the cause of the countless injuries that occurred that night. Many described their experience as “suffocating” and felt as though they were “drowning,” according to CNN.
Travis Scott has a history of dangerous crowds at his concerts. In 2015 and 2017, USA Today said that Scott was arrested for inciting violence and disorderly conduct. In 2018, fans were encouraged by Scott to jump from the balconies at the New York Terminal 5 venue. He is quoted as saying “don’t be scared, they’re going to catch you,” according to Buzzfeed. Howard Hershenhorn, the attorney of a victim of Scott’s previous concert, has said to “make no mistake about it, his desire for chaos caused this horrific tragedy.” The repetitive nature of violence seen at Scott’s concerts has been controversial. Is this pattern a coincidence or intentional? The debate seems to intensify amid the aftermath of his most recent disaster, Astroworld.
Following the hellish horrors, Travis Scott released a statement claiming that he is “absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.” In addition, he has offered to pay for the funeral expenses of all the victims and allow attendees who experienced the traumatic events a free month of therapy through BetterHelp. However, is this simply to appease angry fans and avoid the growing legal problems, or is it truly out of remorse? For many, this is seen as too little too late.
Ryan Ford '23,