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Deadly Astroworld crowd surge initiates student conversations, concerns

Art by Philip Churchley

For fans attending Travis Scott’s “Astroworld Festival” in Houston, Tex., the event was supposed to be two days of fun in November. However, the second day of the festival was canceled due to a crowd surge that resulted in 10 deaths and over 300 people needing urgent medical care. 

About 50,000 people attended Astroworld, and once Scott began performing, crowds began running up to the stage, compressing everyone, leaving no room or space to breathe, causing many people to pass out or require CPR. 

Astroworld has brought much expected attention to Travis Scott, who continued performing as the crowd surged forward. But junior Ayush Singh said Scott couldn’t have seen the injured in the crowd since there were so many people in attendance. 

“I don’t think it was Travis’s fault for what happened because it’s not like he purposely tried to get people killed. It was just a really sad thing that happened because of the amount of people in the crowd,” Singh said. “I think it happened at his concert specifically because he has such a big fanbase.”

Several videos from the festival have surfaced, showing Scott briefly pausing the concert to try and get the crowd in order. But sophomore Jessie Slafsky said Scott should have done more and stopped the concert when he saw the mayhem.

“Travis definitely should have stopped the concert, since there were paramedics and ambulances trying to get into the crowd to help the people who were injured, but they couldn’t get there because the concert kept going,” Slafsky said. “He probably could’ve prevented a lot of people from getting injured if he stopped the concert earlier.”

For junior Alexis Chiu, factors such as the general admission policy, concert security, and Scott all played a part in the tragedy. 

“The way that it was set up, it was super unsafe, so that needs to be changed in the future,” junior Alexis Chiu said. “I think the problem was that too many people were in too small of an area, and in the future they need to make capacity limits so that people can’t compress together, which was the cause of people getting trampled or injured.”

To junior Ayush Singh, the security, or lack thereof, was a big contributor to the deaths and injuries at the concert. 

“I’d say for Travis’s concert, they would need better security if so many people were able to break in. I saw some videos of a bunch of people hopping and trampling the fence, and there wasn’t any security nearby,” Singh says. “There were probably way more people who could’ve broken in and weren’t caught on video.”

The deaths and injuries at Astroworld have generated hesitance for some students regarding future concerts. While Chiu said she usually feels safe at concerts, she recognizes all events like this have some risks. 

She said, “I think concerts can be dangerous, but they don’t have to be. It depends on the type of people who go, like if they all decide to violently mosh, then it gets really dangerous.” 

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