Music Festival Deaths

Two people who knew an unidentified victim of a fatal incident at the Houston Astroworld concert embrace at a memorial on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

From school shootings to violent riots, it feels like fatal tragedies make up the majority of our country’s news.

Yet another of these terrifying—and completely preventable—incidents happened on Nov. 5 at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, of all places.

To give a brief recap, the sold-out concert at Houston’s NRG Park saw an attendance of 50,000 people and a crowd surge that ultimately led to at least 10 deaths and more than 300 injuries.

Scott took the stage at 9 PM, and, less than an hour later, officials reported a mass casualty incident.

The concert continued for another 37 minutes. Scott kept performing for another 37 minutes after deaths were reported in the crowd.

He witnessed lifeless bodies being carried out and crowd goers jumping on top of emergency medical vehicles, yet he stayed on stage as though nothing were happening.

Thankfully, he’s met a heaping amount of backlash over his inaction during the concert and his half-baked patronizing attempts at apology since.

And yet, people—celebrities and fans alike—are actually defending Travis Scott after this all happened right in front of him. These are actual people who believe he did nothing wrong.

Some of his defenders blame the rapper's destroyed reputation on cancel culture, which is legitimately one of the most ignorant things I’ve ever heard in my life. People aren’t turning on Travis Scott because he was problematic on Twitter as a teenager. He’s not being cancelled—he’s being held responsible for actions.

The fatalities of Nov. 5 are the result of pure negligence by everyone involved in organizing the event, including Scott.

The officials behind the scenes are certainly to blame for many of the mistakes that night, from the lack of security to their unpreparedness with medical resources. However, Travis was the face of this event, and he had multiple opportunities to intervene. People begged for help while Scott performed, and several individuals actually climbed on stage to shout that people were dying in the crowd.

Even as emergency vehicles broke through the crowd, Scott just watched, never stopping the show.

This is not the first time Scott has come under fire for inciting violence in his crowds. In a video from a previous concert, Scott is shown hitting and spitting on a concert-goer who tried to steal his shoe while crowd-surfing. He even calls on people in the audience to attack the culprit.

This is just the first time that Scott's sadism has led to lost lives.

I’m so tired of the naïve, cult-like compulsion of people who support celebrities through thick and thin, even when they’re clearly at fault. I understand being a dedicated fan, but you must draw the line when your favorite celebrity shows such utter disregard for human life.

If you would condemn a non-celebrity figure for an action, why wouldn't you hold celebrities to the same standard? You’re not going to get brownie points for sticking up for someone like Travis Scott. He’s made it painfully obvious that no matter how much attention and money you give him, he doesn’t care about your wellbeing.

I know I sound harsh, but I’m truly just livid that the deaths at Astroworld were allowed to happen. We have to stop making excuses for celebrities, especially in situations where peoples’ lives are on the line.

My thoughts and respects are with the families and friends of those affected by this tragedy.

Emily Davison is a 20-year-old anthropology and English junior from Denham Springs, Louisiana.

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