What unfolded on the night of Nov. 5 is something that will change how music artists and their organizers interact with their fans.
That night hosted the first (and now only) night of this year’s Astroworld Festival, a music festival run by rapper Travis Scott, where a crowd crush occurred. The rabid scene led to current totals of over 300 attendees being treated for injuries, 25 being hospitalized and nine fatalities (eight during his concert, and another that passed away six days later from her injuries). It was tragic, with some uncertainties still present about whether or not it was preventable.
What most tragedies have in common is that they were preventable. However, what’s unique about this situation is the vagueness of who is actually to blame.
Even in this era of rapidly spreading information, actual concrete timelines of events are hard to come by. But as events and information are being doled out by authorities, a set of hard facts is coming to light.
The event organizers had not prepared for the level of rowdiness and volume of people that were attending the show that night.
Keep in mind — these organizers and Travis Scott himself knew what actions they were going to take during the concert. They had already dealt with past concerts and guilty verdicts related to overly rowdy crowds instigated by the performer’s brand/personality.
But to add onto this confusing and complex situation is that the Houston chief of police warned the organizers of safety concerns they had. He simultaneously had local police work to keep the event safe, but as evidenced by the death toll, they did not keep it as safe enough.
Subsequently, an independent investigation is being eyed for approval. Going back to the actual circumstances of what led to this tragedy involves looking at what the crowd acted like.
There were reports of the crowd drugging other random attendees and security members while videos showcase those who protected and shielded others from the oncoming trampling. Surely the crowd wasn’t blameless, as people can always restrain themselves.
Crowd control is part of the business, so the crowd isn’t at fault. On the other end of the spectrum, when looking back at Travis Scott’s actions during the concert, it could be said that he did what he should have done by finally ending the show.
The question of whether it should have been ended sooner is another contentious point since ending it sooner could have led to further chaos and more lives lost due to most not knowing what was going on or not.
Travis and his organization have displayed the appropriate response to most of the questions being raised and have paid for the victims funeral costs. But will it be enough? That is for a person’s own judgment to decide.
This shows that the value of a well-run operation surely takes more precedence over any other PR campaign or effort to boost relevance.
Perhaps, future performance artists, influencers and celebrities will now think twice about how to properly organize the logistics, arrangements and coordinated efforts to keep their endeavors and those involved safe.
Conversely, if that doesn’t work, state authorities might need to step into the ring by enforcing a stricter set of safety codes onto private security firms and add it onto other reforms being pushed.