Imagine you go to a music festival to see one of your favorite artists, Travis Scott, along with many other major artists in attendance. You and tens of thousands of others are in the crowd all pressing up against each other, in hopes that you can get closer to seeing the artists performing with the best view possible. However, with all these people together in such a tight space you begin to see people pass out around you, due to exhaustion, dehydration, and many other factors. You begin to panic, as you have never experienced a situation like this before and try to bring some of the people who have passed out to safety. Unfortunately, with the large number of attendees constantly trying to move forward and move around, this task becomes increasingly difficult, and you are unable to bring the people to safety. This was a more than common experience for many who attended Astrofest. The highly anticipated music festival, known for its high energy and performances from major musical artists has left 8 people confirmed dead and hundreds injured.
Astrofest is a major music festival held in Houston, Texas and is hosted by Travis Scott. This is the third installment of the Astroworld Festival, which has been going on since 2018. The festival had a massive lineup of artists set to perform. Metro Boomin, Don Toliver, Roddy Ricch, SZA, Lil Baby, and Travis Scott were some of the biggest names to perform on the first day. Fans were even treated to a surprise performance by Drake. However, this festival was always doomed to be a disaster.
Videos can be seen of hundreds of fans tearing down a fence and storming the field. This was only the beginning of the issues faced; As time went on, more issues could be found, many caused by overcrowding, exhaustion, and dehydration. Along with this, musical events with as much hype and energy as a Travis Scott concert were bound to increase all of these issues. Dozens of reports can be found of people attending the festival that are like the one I described earlier. Not only this, but after the first day of the festival had ended and the deaths and injuries were initially reported, a new narrative had begun, that said an unknown person in attendance ran around the crowd and injected fans with some sort of drug. Initially, there wasn’t much evidence to support this claim, until the Houston Police Department conducted a news interview the morning after the tragedy and confirmed that a security guard recalled feeling a prick on his neck resembling a needle, and passed out; only beginning to remember events after he had woken up.
When news first broke of the reported deaths and injuries, one of the first questions on people’s minds was “who is at fault?” The general consensus was to blame the organizers of the event, as they were severely understaffed in both security and medical-aid, which shows how clearly unprepared they were, not expecting the festival to accumulate as many fans as it did. Later on, videos from fans began to pop up, showing their view of the stage Travis Scott was performing on, and their view of other fans who had been injured or passed out. This began the speculation that the “Sicko Mode” rapper could see fans being injured and chose to continue the show. However, even if Travis had seen the injured fan(s), he was not one of the two people who had authority to stop the show. Recently the report released confirming that the only two with authority to cancel the concert were the Executive Producer and the Festival Director. If pointing the finger at someone is your intention, blame the event organizers, the hundreds of fans who snuck into the festival by breaking down the fence, the attendee who pricked innocent fans with an unknown drug, and the fans who were seen jumping on top of the Medical-Aid vehicles, which prevented the medical staff from helping injured fans.
In response to hearing about the news, Travis Scott, Kylie Jenner, and Drake, among others released a public apology and offered their condolences to the families of those who passed away and to those injured. Roddy Ricch has even promised to donate all of the money earned from his performance to the families of the victims who lost their lives. Of the 8 victims who were confirmed dead, one was a boy named John Hilgert, who was only 14 years old. The other 7 victims were Brianna Rodriguez,16, Jacob Jurinek, 20, Franco Patino, 21, Axel Acosta, 21, Rudy Pena, 23, Madison Dubiski, 23, and Danish Baig, 27; all were described as being loving, caring, and aspired to do big things with their lives.
Much of the issues caused by this event could have been prevented had the event organizers been better prepared for a festival of this size. Understaffed security and medical personnel became a major problem, in addition to unruly fans, many of whom cared more about seeing the concert than others safety. The eight deaths that occurred could have been completely preventable had there been more security and medical staff on site. Rest in peace to John Hilgert, Brianna Rodriguez, Jacob Jurinek, Franco Patino, Axel Acosta, Rudy Pena, Madison Dubiski, and Danish Baig.