The tragedy that occurred at Astroworld is now over and has ended in nine deaths and over three hundred people injured. What should have been a day full of excitement ended in disarray, trauma, and the loss of loved ones. The event as a whole was awful and never should have taken place due to the underlining issues surrounding its organization. Here is a timeline depicting what exactly happened:
3:30 AM: An estimated number of a thousand people where lined up to enter the festival.
10:00 AM: The gates open and many concert-goers rush toward the stage, some jumping over the barricades to get through. The number of fans attending the concert grow rapidly as the hours’ pass.
8:15 PM: The medical staff at the festival become overwhelmed by the number of attendees and the growing surge.
9:00 PM: A thirty-minute countdown commences in anticipation of Travis Scott’s performance. The crush worsens, and according to Fire Chief Sam Peña “the crowd for whatever reason began to push and surge toward the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed.”
9:30 PM: An Ambulance makes its way through the crowd as injury reports start to take place.
9:38 PM: A Mass Casualty Event is declared. The concert continues.
10:10 PM: The concert officially stops.
In the eyes of many, the principal offender appears to be Travis Scott. The main accusations against the rapper include continuing Astroworld when told by Houston’s Police Chief about his “public safety concerns.” If we were to give him the benefit of the doubt, the Police Chief himself might have underestimated the severity of his concerns. Scott also could have underplayed the warnings given to him.
The share of responsibility that Travis Scott has, greatly changes depending on the key thing that we need to know here: How much information was relayed to him?
Hasan Piker – Political Commentator and Twitch Streamer
Nonetheless, it is safe to say that Travis Scott was not entirely unaware of some chaos occurring at the festival. According to some audience reports and footage captured by the crowd, Scott stopped his show on many occasions before closing his set at 10:10 PM. These brief pauses include acknowledging an ambulance inside the crowd as well as clearing a path for EMTs to reach an unconscious fan. The musician’s decision to continue with the show most likely stems from his ignorance of the harm placed on the attendees.
While Scott does bear some weight for the tragic events that unfolded, the situation seems more nuanced than what the media and public eye suggest. As reprehensible as those two actions are, accountability should be equally placed on the event organizers, Live Nation (It should also be noted that they have horrific track record).
We have to worry about riots when you have a group that’s that young. It was a cooperation and discussion between promoters, my fire department, the police department, and NRG officials. I think that part was pretty good.
Police Chief Troy Finner
Houston officials also had the power to stop the event at a moment’s notice. Indeed, Live Nation and the Houston Police Department would have known Astroworld was declared a Mass causality event at 9:30. The idea that the police did not want a riot to occur from their involvement is not an excuse for not interfering sooner. Even if Scott’s performance is known for inciting “Rage Culture”, there were instances when the show would stop and the crowd would be entirely peaceful.
If there is any silver lining in this horrific tragedy, Scott has recently canceled two concert shows, pledged to cover his late fans’ funeral costs, and refunded all Astroworld concert-goers. With other performers showing condolences, rapper Roddy Ricch will donate show money to support the victims’ families.
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